Where’s the Fruit? A Look at Processed Foods

This morning I saw a tease on the Today Show for a segment about misleading food labels (for some basics on label reading click here). You know me. I live for this stuff. I had to head out the door before the segment aired, but I watched it online when I got home tonight. You can watch the clip yourself here. The gist of the segment is that many processed foods including cereals, frozen waffles, yogurt, and bars come in packages that are covered with images of beautiful berries with claims like “made with real fruit.” Some consumers may buy these products because they think it’s a more nutritious option. Well, in fact, the amount of fruit in most of these products often ranges from none to might as well be none. The truth is, these bits of “fruit” are actually sugar, oil, flavoring, coloring, and maybe a little bit of the actual fruit. Many contain no fruit at all. To me, this was no surprise, but, from watching the segment, I began to realize just how surprising it was for many people. In fact, some of the people interviewed seemed to feel victimized.  With all of this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the matter.

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Recipe: Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash and Chickpea Soup

Goodness knows I love the slow cooker. Every time I come home to a house full of delicious smells and dinner ready to eat, I’m in heaven. However, I never use it as much as I should. In my effort to better utilize this incredible tool, I came up with this soup that is perfect for warming up on a fall or winter night. Ingredients can be prepped the night before so, in the morning, you can just toss everything in the pot before you head out the door. Use it as a side dish/first course or as your main meal.

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