Marketing scheme or brilliant waste reduction strategy? The case of ‘ugly’ veggies!

Since composting and waste management has been on my mind lately as we consider the pros and cons of our 4 new poop-filled friends (the chicks!), Here’s a look an an interesting initiative from France, and the ‘inglorious’ fruits and vegetables as a way to combat food waste.

hugging carrots

I think these loving carrots could bring a premium price point…

We throw tons of food away – literally, and this isn’t counting that long forgotten broccoli in the bowels of the fridge.

I find this interesting – is this actually a viable ‘solution’? Or is this another way for supermarkets to sell us something?

Watch the video and comment!

 

This idea is not new – for a really terrific initiative out of the US, please visit Marin Organic which glean (pick up what would be thrown away) organic produce for use in school food programs! This initiative isn’t backed by a major corporation nor seeks profit.. compare this model to Intermarche’s… vastly different… think about it!

Fair Trade /Direct Trade Certifications: Pros, Cons, and Unknowns

fair-trade-symbol3

Much has changed in terms of what we should choose to eat.. just when you thought the toughest decision of your day was between white or whole wheat toast with your breakfast, an entire world of certifications and exotic foods emerged. If you are wondering what a certification is exactly, please see my Food Certifications | Overview page for some more information.

One certification symbol that has boomed recently is Fair Trade. In a nut shell, this certification is meant to display to the consumer/buyer that the item has been acquired fairly – more specifically, that the producer/farmer has received a decent wage, and decent working conditions. But the idea of a ‘decent’ leaves a lot of room for debate.

Continue Reading…

Obesity Trends

Another great visual fact sheet from weightloss.org outlining many factors relating to the ‘spread’ of weight gain in the US. Though speaking specifically of our Southern neighbours, we aren’t too far off the mark…

Low Sodium Ketchup | “Healthy Alternatives” aren’t as they seem

low-sodium-guidelines

As childhood fans of true Heinz ketchup, the new low sodium alternative caught our eye. Intrigued, and always looking to lower our salt intake, we bought it without much hesitation.  So long as it was Heinz its bound to be good, and with 50% less salt everybody wins…right?

Just before using it, we noticed that it wasn’t Ketchup any more.  What we had left the store with was a “Ketchup style sauce”.  This is a usual ploy by companies trying to sell a product as something that its not.  When you see a bottle that looks like Ketchup, by the makers of Ketchup, with all the same branding as Ketchup, you would think that you got Ketchup.

The taste was the unfortunate part.  This stuff tastes like a “Ketchup style sauce”.  We were less than thrilled.  Yeah, yeah, I can hear you saying “Well with half the salt of course it won’t taste good”, but this isn’t always the case.  Besides, if it tasted like low salt ketchup that would be fine.  But it doesn’t.  The taste is completely changed, and it doesn’t taste like Heinz, or even a no name ketchup.  What it tastes like is a ketchup style sauce.

Now I know that you would think that the poor taste would be the worst part.  Not for us.  The worst was when we finally looked at the ingredients list.  Usually the first thing we do when picking up a new product, we finally compared the “Low Sodium” knock-off to the real thing and found out that the one we bought had very different ingredients (namely potassium chloride and the infamous “flavours”).  Basically what we ended up with was something that although looked the same (just healthier) turned out to taste badly and have added ingredients that we weren’t expecting.

Moral of the story, keep a watchful eye over things that appear to be “healthy alternatives”.  Many foods that are marketed towards those living “healthy active lifestyles” have additives such as soy protein.  Unless you are watching the ingredients label, you probably wouldn’t expect cereals, granola bars etc. to be loaded with soy.  Especially when food such as “Vector” tout themselves as “meal replacements”.  Its important to keep your eyes off the marketing ploys and onto the nutrition and ingredients list to make sure you make good decisions.  We learnt our lesson, and we’re hoping others follow suit.