by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Functional-foods

Feb 7 2008

A functional food dilemma?

Kellogg’s is doing its bit for America’s health by adding whole grain to guess which cereal: Frosted Flakes! Kellogg’s sets its own nutritional standards–Kellogg Global Nutrient Criteria. This cereal meets them. Why do this? The whole grains provide enhanced nutrition for kids along with energy. Of course Frosted Flakes provide energy. They contain sugars!

Jan 23 2008

Welcome to Snickers Charged: Functional Candy Bar

Mars, which owns Snickers, brings us Snickers Charged, a line extension with more caffeine than a soft drink, taurine (an essential amino acid for cats), and a bunch of B-vitamins. Why do we need this? According to the public relations folks, “This new product responds to current marketplace trends and satisfies two need states craved by consumers who seek hunger satisfaction and a boost of energy.” Food, anyone?


		
Jan 5 2008

The best functional drink ever?

I am indebted to OrangeClouds115 who writes a diary for the Daily Kos (here’s an example) for telling me about Function drinks, this one called “House Call.” The Function website says: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away? The docs at Function think that’s slightly rude.” House Call keeps the doctor away? Um, maybe not. Orangeclouds115 reports: “You should see the ingredients. It’s sugar water. They sell 4 for $5.” As I say in What to Eat, functional foods are about marketing; they are not about health.  Alas.

Dec 16 2007

Detox in a box and other functional foods

My colleague Ellen Fried knows that I love to read articles about functional foods–the food industry’s hope for survival and growth. It’s a wet, snowy Sunday in New York and a great day to curl up with some good reading. Here’s what the Guardian Unlimited has to say about functional foods. Here favorite is Detox in a Box. I think mine may be the irony. The very companies that brought us junk food now want to put neurotransmitters in it. Can’t wait.

Oct 17 2007

More on health claims: coca-cola

While we are on the subject of health claims, can those be the reasons why Coca-Cola is off to China to look for medicinals that can be added to its drinks? The entire point of putting “healthy” ingredients into foods is to be able to make health claims for them. These “functional foods,” as I keep saying, are not really about health. They are about marketing.

Aug 1 2007

Scientifically engineered “superfoods”

Eating Liberally is now interviewing me on a regular basis in a post called “Let’s Ask Marion.” Today’s question is about foods created by technologists to introduce some health benefit–what I like to call “techno-foods.” It is timely because today’s New York Times has a report by Andrew Martin of his visit to the recent convention of the Institute of Food Technology. Are these foods really designed to make you healthy? Or are they about the financial health of their makers?