by Marion Nestle
Apr 28 2015

Is the food movement winning?

Brian Lehrer asked me a question this morning that is well worth pondering.

The gist: Are the recent actions taken by food companies an indication that consumers are having an effect at the expense of science—and at the expense of focusing on more important food issues such as too much sugar, obesity, and diabetes?

He cited these recent events:

  • Tyson’s says it will phase out human antibiotics in broiler production.
  • McDonald’s says it will source chicken that has not been treated with antibiotics.
  • PepsiCo says it is taking aspartame out of its diet sodas (it’s the #1 reason given for not drinking diet cola).
  • Chipotle says it will source GMO-free ingredients.
  • Nestlé says it is removing artificial colors from its chocolate candy.
  • Kraft says it is taking the yellow dyes out of its Mac n’ Cheese.

To all of them, I say it’s about time.

None of these is necessary in the food supply.

There are plenty of scientific questions about all of them, although some—antibiotics, for example—are more troubling than others.

If voting with your fork can achieve these results, they pave the way for taking on the much more difficult issues.

These are big steps forward.  They matter.

They should inspire other companies to do the same.

  • heavyhanded

    Happy mother’s day tell mama heavy enjoys hershey’s

  • heavyhanded

    This will never end.

  • Namma

    It should have never been started. If it costs them, good. Serves them right for trying to feed the consumer cheap ingredients and mask it as “good food”.

  • Namma

    Actually, YOU bent the truth to serve a misguided idea. BEFORE factory farms started keeping dairy cows penned up standing in their own excrement, BEFORE factory farms used cheap labor and couldn’t be bothered to instruct them to wash their hands, utensils and equipment (to save time and produce more milk), BEFORE criminal corporate “think” entered farming people ALL drank unpasteurized milk, for thousands of years. There is no evidence that exists that any milk ever made large numbers of people ill, instead, people thrived on having their own milk and cheese animals whether they were cows, sheep or goats. What is NECESSARY is for EVERYONE to stop jumping on their favorite hobby horse (a child’s toy that was a stick with a horse’s head) and stop the LYING in favor of their favorite argument. It’s disgusting.

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  • Lauren

    The consumers vote with the power of their dollar. The more we can be educated on nutrition and health matters, the stronger our vote becomes. These are great victories. The more our country moves towards a health trend the more companies and policy makers have to take notice.