Shredded wheat gets 3 stars. Baked beans, 1 star. Doritos, no stars. Those movie-style ratings for food, launched by a New England grocery chain, take nutritional hand-holding to a new level. Hannaford Bros. supermarkets says it’s an effort to simplify choices for consumers, using gold-star shelf tags to mark the healthiest foods. The rating system is in 150 of its stores in upstate New York and New England. Some experts agree it makes sense.
“There’s a certain level of frustration in consumers trying to figure out all the different health claims,” said Bill Greer, a spokesman for the Food Marketing Institute.
Under Hannaford’s Guiding Stars program, “healthy” products are given 1 star, better choices get 2 and the best are given 3. Foods with no nutritional value get no stars at all. The rankings are based on U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, with points earned for meeting recommended levels of nutrients like fiber and taken away for having too much of the bad stuff—like saturated fats and sugar...The system gives shoppers a good baseline for understanding healthy eating, said Cathy Nonas, a registered nutritionist with the American Dietetic Association.
—Candice Choi, Associated Press, 9/6/06
Hormel Institute Receives $15M for Expansion
Hormel Foods Corp. has donated $15 million toward expanding its namesake research institute. The money—$10 million of which comes from the Hormel Foundation, and the remainder from the corporation—will be put toward a new three-story research building. The building will give the institute enough space to add up to 100 additional research positions. The Hormel Institute, based in Austin, is an independent research unit of the University of Minnesota focusing on using food compounds to treat and prevent cancer.
—Katherine Grayson, Minneapolis St. Paul, 8/21/06
GMPs: More of the Same
Between now and November don’t expect to see GMPs for dietary supplements.
—Maggie Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, FDA, speaking at the CRN Annual Conference held in September in Boston, MA
The Case Against Supplements
Supplements have benefited greatly from pharmaceutical studies going awry (i.e., HRT and Vioxx). Now