Food Transparency

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chefwd, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. chefwd

    chefwd

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    I am thinking of writing an article about Food Transparency... it is a very hotly debated trend these days in our industry.

    I am curious to find out from other Chefs and Food Establishment owners there thoughts.

    Is anyone interested in reading about it?
     
  2. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Can you Narrow down what you mean?
     
  3. chefwd

    chefwd

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    Im a  bit confused as to what you mean narrow it down.... food transparency is a rather broad subject which all goes together, from GMO's to food labeling, to how a few restaurants have already begun to post on their websites about their food sources.

    Also how companies such as   Pepsi, Kraft, Kellogg’s, Coke and General Mills, Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical are spending millions of dollars in Colorado and Oregon to try and defeat the propositions that are going on the ballot about food labeling.

    I feel that those of us as Chefs and restaurant industry professionals should be paying attention. I personally having an issue with these companies who are using GMO's claim that there is nothing harmful about it, but yet are spending all this money to stop it. For those who don't know about it, should be looking into it, as it can directly affect us.

    Yes I do understand that it will cost companies extra money for the extra labeling, but it seems to me at least and in the reasearch I have conducted there is more to it than a a few cents for each label to spending tens of millions of dollars now.

    Also the recent approval by the EPA (edited, I had put FDA) of Enlist Duo, an herbicide which has similar ingredients to Agent Orange, etc., etc.

    I really started researching when I began to lose weight this past year, and I was amazed at some of the stuff that is either used to treat food, or is being put directly in it
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  4. chefboyog

    chefboyog

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    Im interested. As long as it isn't completely one sided.

    I had a conversation with my Dietician about labeling sugar. She said there is talk about de regulating labeling laws so they can call any sugar item just sugar, they think it will make labels easier to understand. I think it is dumbing down info. If its honey in a dressing I bought I certainly don't want it called " sugar" on the label.
     
  5. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    That's what I mean by narrow down, its s huge subject that contains many concepts that need to be examined on their own

    If you are planning on a piece looking at some of these issues you would be well served to target a specific area and look at that.
     
  6. chefwd

    chefwd

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    @chefboyOG  I totally agree.... its should not be one sided
     
  7. genemachine

    genemachine

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    That would go well with my girlfriend who is specifically intolerant to fructose.
     
  8. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    True, but on the other hand it is difficult for some to know that there are many unecessary terms for sugar.  Honey should be exempt, as should agave I think but the rest are purposefully deceptive
    • barley malt
    • beet sugar
    • brown sugar
    • buttered syrup
    • cane-juice crystals
    • cane sugar
    • caramel
    • carob syrup
    • corn syrup
    • corn syrup solids
    • date sugar
    • dextran
    • dextrose
    • diatase
    • diastatic malt
    • ethyl maltol
    • fructose
    • fruit juice
    • fruit juice concentrate
    • glucose
    • glucose solids
    • golden sugar
    • golden syrup
    • grape sugar
    • high-fructose corn syrup
    • honey
    • invert sugar
    • lactose
    • malt syrup
    • maltodextrin
    • maltose
    • mannitol
    • molasses
    • raw sugar
    • refiner's syrup
    • sorbitol
    • sorghum syrup
    • sucrose
    • sugar
    • turbinado sugar
    • yellow sugar
     
  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    What is your point for all of this?  Why not go after the preservative and chemical end and the thickeners.
     
  10. fablesable

    fablesable

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    @ChefWD  I am always interested in what another has to say about Food Transparency so go for it!! BIG subject though so I do agree with others as to narrow it down more OR write a series about it breaking it down to one subject a blog or chapter??

    I use an 80/20 rule in my kitchens now and do VERY well for it (utilizing 80% local ingredients/ 20% non-local all transparent and direct sourced). I source all locally grown/farmed ingredients from farmers markets around our city and go directly to the farms to see how they farm and what seeds, fertilizer, etc they use so I know what to tell my customers. The farmers enjoy it, I enjoy it and the customers enjoy and eat it up! Took a lot of time and energy but the feedback and outcome is amazing.

    People are waking up to the reality of 'food industry' so your article will help others see this. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/bounce.gif
     
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  12. luc_h

    luc_h

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    @Koukouvagia please understand that not all the terms you mentioned are misleading.  Companies cannot call an ingredient something else then what it is. The rules are strick on ingredient declarations

    Consumers should focus on nutritional labels to avoid being duped on sugars. The amount of sugars are clearly stated on the panel regardless of the source.

    For a diabetic, sugars are sugars regardless if it's natural or not, in other words, honey is no better to a diabetic than juice concentrate, molasses or table sugar.

    Luc H.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  13. luc_h

    luc_h

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    That is the first time I hear about that!  Make sure she never eats agave syrup, it's loaded with that stuff!!!

    Luc H.
     
  14. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Thanks Luc. We know about that one. Agave syrup is all over the organic section, so most ready-made preparations from there are out. It's not an allergy or anything, just results in stomach cramps and chemical warfare levels of gas... :p
     
  15. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I'm sure Monsanto, Cargill, etc. would love to cloak high fructose corn syrup under the simple label "sugar"
     
  16. luc_h

    luc_h

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    Great point TeamFat,

    they actually tried multiple times to have it named corn sugar but it has been struck down by the FDA.  At least the word syrup, indicative as a sugar sweetener, is included in the name hence not misleading.

    Regulators should actually force the corn refiners to declare the enzymes they use in their process on the label.  it would show how much of a frankenfood it actually is.

    alpha-amylase,Glucoamylase and Xylose isomerase

    but the refiners have convinced these chemicals are manufacturing aid and hence do not appear on the label.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fructose_corn_syrup

    This is what transparency (or lack thereof) means for me.

    Luc H.
     
  17. genemachine

    genemachine

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    To be precise, alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are present in your saliva and intestinal secretions anyway. The only one not present in humans is the xylose isomerase, which is a microbial enzyme. Not that I like HFCS - I prefer my sugars to be raw with a more complex flavour profile, but those enzymes are hardly harmful.
     
  18. luc_h

    luc_h

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    Just to make sure we are on the same page: yes alpha and gluco amylase are in our bodies (both in the mouth and created in the pancreas), but the source used for corn syrup refining is most definitely not from human origin. It is all microbial.

    Doesn't origin count within transparency?

    the above was just an example of what is hidden/undeclared in ingredients as manufacturing aid.

    The way you offhandedly justified how some ingredients are not harmful and not worth mentioning is exactly the train of thought manufacturers use to manipulate the regulators, the politicians and the consumer.

    examples:

    Transfat are naturally occuring in milk.  Why do we need to declare it in Hydrogenated vegetable oil? 

    Why should we name unbleached flour unbleached when we should call white flour bleached instead (and name the chemicals)?

    Our bodies are full of hormones, what's the controversy with giving hormones to cows, chickens, etc?

    Why call milk ''organic'' when we should say that regular milk contains hormones and antibiotics from cows (herbivores) that eat animal protein (not from other bovine anymore, my goodness) and grains when their stomach has evolves to eat only grass?

    Luc H.
     
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    @Luc_H this is a topic you are obviously passionate about but it does no use to argue with the people that visit the site, we're all serious cooks with a passion for good ingredients that we do out best to obtain. If only it was easy and affordable to buy the quality of foods I wish I could.

    I've never heard of the term food transparency before.
     
  20. luc_h

    luc_h

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    Sorry if I seemed to have forcibly argued a bit to heavily my point. I acknowledged.

    I will step back now from this post and let others give their opinion.

    I'll finish by saying that FDA rules and regulations are actually very stringent in ingredient declarations yet there is still alot of wiggling room to obscure the ingredients behind industrial/commercial foods. I know since I am from that industry.

    I agree with ChefWD that it's only a matter of time until the subject food transparency (ingredient declaration, sourcing, fare trade, organic, allergens declaration, calories) becomes a subject for food service industry to embrace or defend.  I suspect it will start will strict ingredient control on allergens.  

    Thanks @Koukouvagia

    Luc H.