Originally published June 8 2015
Nestle joins clean food movement with removal of artificial flavors from 250 products
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) Nestle, which is considered a snack food and frozen pizza leader, has announced that it will remove artificial flavors from over 250 of its products by the end of 2015. In that same time frame, the food giant also plans to reduce the salt content in its frozen pizzas by 10 percent. The brands involved are Digiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack's, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets.(1)
According to a Nestle press release, all artificial flavors "from every product within these brands" will be removed, and sodium content among these same brands will be lessened by 10 percent as compared to 2013 levels. Another effort that's keeping up with consumers' growing desire to eat healthier is their announcement that, by the end of the year, Nestle will also implement "guidance tools on packaging across these brands" in an effort to further assist consumers in making informed nutritional and portion size decisions. For example, the importance of adding more fruits and vegetables will be a focus in many instances.(2)
Nestle wants consumers to "feel good" about eating healthier foods"We know people want to feel good about the foods they eat, and they're seeking foods made with fewer artificial ingredients and less sodium," said John Carmichael, president of the Nestle Pizza & Snacking Division, Nestle USA. "As one of the nation's largest food companies, Nestle is listening to consumers and delivering on their desire for convenient, great-tasting foods that have an improved nutritional profile."(2)
Cassie Hoover, RDN, nutrition, health and wellness manager of the Nestle Pizza & Snacking Division, Nestle USA, is poised to be an instrumental part of this process. In a press release, she said, "Portion guidance is our way of making it easier for consumers to make informed choices that are right for them and their family," and that the great taste people have come to enjoy won't be compromised due to these changes.(2)
The company's move parallels that of many others before them in recent times. With an increased public focus and interest in GMOs, artificial ingredients and overall health, several other companies have also sought ways to change their foods for the better.
Numerous companies and restaurants focusing on health, food improvementsFor example, Chipotle went completely GMO-free, and Panera recently made public its "No-no" list which includes about 150 artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colors and flavors they're removing. Panera is aiming to have all such additives removed from their food by 2016. Already, the likes of cellulose gel has been removed from their poppyseed dressing, as has the soy protein and propylene glycol alginate in their Greek salad dressing. Pizza Hut has also jumped on the healthy bandwagon; they're slated to remove all artificial colors and flavors by the end of July 2015.(1,3)
Additionally, Kraft has mentioned plans to remove artificial dyes from their macaroni and cheese, while PepsiCo is set to remove aspartame from Diet Pepsi.(3)
Even McDonald's, which not too long ago came out with an anti-kale ad that poked fun at health-minded people, may now add the leafy green to its menu. "As we continue to listen to our customers, we're always looking at new and different ingredients that they may enjoy," said McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb in response to inquires about the fast food chain's possible addition of kale to its foods.(4)
Not everyone thinks companies jumping on healthy bandwagon is good ideaWhile these shifts demonstrate a move towards creating a healthier society, not everyone is on board. Especially in the case of McDonald's, some joke that the changes are simply not enough, suggesting that it's hardly making a dent in health considering the calories or sugar that's still sold or consumed despite there being kale or fewer additives on the menu. Some opponents also argue that the fears which people have about some ingredients are not justified, and therefore they feel that these so-called healthy reactions are not entirely necessary.
While opponents to such changes do bring up some valid points -- and let's not forget that sales are likely more top-of-mind than health, and therefore a driving force behind these new approaches -- it's still good to know that many companies are at least making an effort that leans towards cleaner eating.
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