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Study finds skepticism about organic among consumers

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A majority of surveyed adults in the United States regards organic as an excuse to charge more for food, according to a new study.

The March Harris Poll of 2,276 adults found that those expressing concern for the environment grew from 31% last year to 38% this year, but 59% of respondents saw labeling foods and other products as organic was an excuse to charge more.

"What surprised us most was that while Americans are showing more concern for the environment, they aren’t necessarily willing to pay more to do anything about it," Harris Poll president Mike de Vere said. "While Americans feel better about the economy, many are wary of the ‘greenwashing’ concept that gives companies a chance to cash in on consumers who want to help the planet but are confused by all the eco-friendly jargon."

More than half of respondents reported thinking organic food was healthier than nonorganic despite research indicating that it isn’t, while 41% said it tasted better, but only 23% were aware of the Environmental Working Group’s annual list of foods consumers should buy organic due to pesticide levels, known as the "dirty dozen." Also, despite a study in Germany indicating that using the dishwasher used half the energy, one-sixth the water and less soap than handwashing, many consumers still regarded washing by hand as better for the environment.

Respondents were more evenly divided on whether they thought it was easy to live in an environmentally friendly way, with 49% saying it was difficult and 47% saying it was easy, but 63% said they had made an effort to be environmentally conscious, flat over 2012, but higher than the 51% who said the same in 2009. Eighty percent said they would seek out "green" products, but only 30% were willing to pay extra for them, and 60% preferred using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies because of the chemicals in traditional products.

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Nestlé launches ‘Balance Your Plate’ education campaign, toolkit for health professionals

BY Jason Owen

WASHINGTON — Nestlé USA today unveiled its new "Balance Your Plate with Nestlé" education campaign to help consumers build nutritious, convenient meals and offer a toolkit to healthcare professionals in guiding their customers to make healthier meals. The announcement was made during a luncheon presentation at the Consumer Federation of America’s 36th Annual National Food Policy Conference.

The goal of "Balance Your Plate" is to help consumers enjoy the foods they love, while encouraging the consumption of more fruits and vegetables. By providing tips and tools, the campaign shows how individuals and families can quickly assemble high-quality balanced meals using frozen prepared entrees as the "center of the plate."

Consumers can use menu models included in the "Balance Your Plate" toolkit and find suggestions on how to round out each frozen entree with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy needed to create balanced, perfectly portioned meals. Each daily meal plan included in "Balance Your Plate" meets energy and nutrient goals for a standard 2,000-calorie diet, based on recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The toolkit also provides suggestions to reach 1,800- and 1,500-calorie diets. A free, downloadable "Balance Your Plate" toolkit can be found at NestleUSA.com/Balance for health professionals working in clinics, hospitals, drug and grocery store settings, among others, who can play a key role in counseling consumers and teaching the fundamentals of sound nutrition, as well as raising awareness of ChooseMyPlate.gov, a USDA-sponsored website for healthy eating and the Dietary Guidelines for Eating, which sets the recommended standards for a 2,000-calorie diet per day.

 

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M.Jones says:
May-03-2013 01:18 am

We should be very much careful while eating our food. Our eating habits could lead to many disasters if it is not in a proper way. Recently Nestle launched a health campaign in which people were taught how to manage their diet and health. The campaign was launched for the benefit of many people living in the society and they will be more beneficial. medifast diet

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Kroger sets initiative to source 100% of palm oil from sustainable sources

BY Jason Owen

CINCINNATI — Kroger announced today the company’s committment to sourcing sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015 amid the growing popularity of vegetable oil and deforestation fears.

Kroger issued the following policy statement:

Palm oil has become the world’s leading oil crop and today accounts for roughly one-third of the global vegetable oil production. This oil has grown in popularity within the food industry as a cooking oil, shortening, margarine, milk-fat replacer, and as a cocoa-butter substitute.

Some organizations have raised concerns that unless it is sourced responsibly, palm oil can contribute to deforestation in parts of the world.

Kroger recognizes the benefits of using responsibly sourced palm oil in all of our Corporate Brand products. We also recognize this is a developing issue for many of our suppliers, and we are committed to working with them to improve sustainability in the palm oil production supply chain.

By the end of 2015, Kroger will purchase 100% of palm oil from suppliers certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Kroger will disclose its progress toward this goal in its annual sustainability report, and continue to support public policy efforts for a moratorium on palm oil expansion in rainforests and peat lands.

"For the products we self-manufacture, we are proud to already source exclusively from suppliers who are RSPO members, working toward certification," said Calvin Kaufman, Kroger’s group VP manufacturing. "Our plants are modeling the way for our third-party suppliers."

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