The revenge of the food consumer

The USDA has decided to act on growing pressure and establish a voluntary program to label food products with non-GMO content

The revenge of the food consumerWhat was unthinkable a few years ago is now happening. In an unprecedented move, the United States Department of Agriculture has established a voluntary program to label food products with non-GMO content. Non-GMOs already exist in the marketplace, but none of them are sanctioned by the government. At the request of a global food company,…

Major corporations bending to the food ingredients revolution

Social media is leading to a more democratic food system

Major corporations bending to the food ingredients revolutionInnovation is a staple of the food industry – food businesses have always changed recipes and formulas. But recent decisions by major players show the industry is being shaken by external powers, resulting in an ingredient revolution of sorts. PepsiCo is removing aspartame from Diet Pepsi (in the U.S., not Canada), and Kraft is revising…

California drought an opportunity for Canadian agriculture

But banking only on a lower currency and inexpensive input costs not enough to build our competitive advantage

California drought an opportunity for Canadian agricultureThis past March was declared the hottest month since record keeping began in 1880. In fact, 2015, statistically speaking, is the warmest start of any year on record. It’s not surprising, therefore, that things are really heating up around the world, and particularly in California. After enduring its fourth rain-free season, one of the most…

Kraft sidles up to the Buffett table

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett increasing his influence on what and how we eat

Kraft sidles up to the Buffett tableLast week, Warren’s Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway added Kraft to its stable of storied brands, which already includes Dairy Queen, Mars, Coca-Cola, Burger King, Heinz and Tim Horton’s. Buffett’s latest blockbuster transaction creates the fifth largest agrifood company in the world, with more than US$28 billion in sales. Thanks perhaps to the multi-billionaire’s legendary sweet tooth,…

Non-browning Arctic apple breaching GMO defences

Providing obvious evidence of GMO consumer benefits

Non-browning Arctic apple breaching GMO defencesIt seems rotten apples may be on their way out. A genetically engineered non-browning apple, developed in Canada, called Arctic, has recently been approved for sale in Canada and the United States. The regulatory bodies in both countries feel that the product is safe for human consumption. With these apples projected to hit store shelves…

The ugly side of food waste

Everyone wins from Loblaw’s campaign to reposition “imperfect” produce in its stores

The ugly side of food wasteWe waste a lot of food; tons of it, in fact. Indeed, some studies suggest that the overall cost of food waste in our country exceeds $100 billion annually. In response, Loblaw has decided to take action. The company now sells bags of “Naturally Imperfect” apples and potatoes in select grocery stores across Ontario and…

Get ready for higher priced Chicken McNuggets

Chicken meat with fewer antibiotics will cost more for everyone

Get ready for higher priced Chicken McNuggetsWhen McDonalds' makes a statement, the fast food world listens. Recently, the corporation announced that all chicken served at its restaurants would be free of antibiotics used on humans within two years. Not necessarily earth-shattering news, since restaurants such as Chipotle, Mexican Grill, Chick-fil-A and the Canadian-based A&W have made similar statements. However, this is…

Coke ‘milking’ healthy choices

With profits falling, the soft drink company is marketing a ‘better’, 'healthier' milk

Coke ‘milking’ healthy choicesFor decades, the soft drink rivalry was about who was winning a war. Nowadays, it’s more about who is losing the least. Coke profits fell a whopping 55 per cent in the latter part of 2014. PepsiCo’s financials were only slightly better. As the modern consumer is looking for healthier options, soft drinks giants are…

Walmart Supercentres’ food retailing model not quite right

Fall short in attracting Canada’s sophisticated consumer

Walmart Supercentres’ food retailing model not quite rightAs Target prepares to leave Canada, Walmart is marching on with the next installment of its highly aggressive strategy. It recently announced it will invest $340 million this year in converting old stores into Supercentres, even while opening a few brand new stores. Supercentres dedicate much of their real estate to food retailing, a key…

Most Canadians don’t understand food nutrition labels

How simplifying and standardizing food labels can help with better food choices

Most Canadians don’t understand food nutrition labelsWith January coming to an end, those of us who vowed to eat better in 2015 have probably already given up. That’s not surprising, considering that most people grossly underestimate both the amount of calories they consume, and their fat, salt and sugar consumption, even after consulting nutrition labels. According to Statistics Canada, half of…
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