Archive for ‘Food News’

February 1, 2011

CaffeineFiend: Coffee Prices Rise and a Cocoa Shortage Crisis?

Chocolate Fondant

Photo: (Vintage Confections)

If you’re on a tight budget and have a hard time sticking to it like me, the news that prices for coffee and chocolate are on the rise is more than a little alarming! Two staples of my regular, everyday diet are about to cause me even more financial stress?! Sad day.

MSN Money recently posted an article from Beth Pinsker at listing 11 things that are getting more expensive this year. My heart sank when I saw coffee made the list and I almost started to cry when I skimmed further and saw chocolate too.

Reports claim that the world is going to see a drastic reduction in the availability of chocolate as the cocoa market faces a significant shortage. According to the U.K.’s Dailymail, the shortage is a result of weather patterns affecting crops in the Ivory Coast (a region which accounts for 40% of the world’s supply of cocoa beans). MSN reports that unrest in the region is also a factor. Some sources say cocoa prices are going up, and so is the cost of your your favorite chocolate bar, but MSN reports that chocolate markets have already factored in the supply issues, so there is no cause to worry about the cost of that 3pm Twix fix!

The news from ABC-KGO is not so optimistic. They indicate that this shortage has been building. According to their experts, a key problem is the lack of incentive for cocoa farmers who face a 3 year wait for cocoa trees to mature and only earn $1 a day. They claim that in 20 years, “the average joe won’t be able to afford chocolate unless new research into growing higher-yielding trees prove fruitful.”

January 30, 2011

Food News: Walmart to be the new Whole Foods?

Walmart to make and sell healthier foods? Sure, that’ll go over well. I was not surprised to see that First Lady Michelle Obama had something to do with Walmart’s announced efforts to reformulate thousands of products in the hopes that its stores, especially those in poorer areas, would be able to offer healthy alternatives and help the First Lady combat childhood obesity.

Oregon consumers respond to ABC Newswatch bascially saying that if the reformulated healtheir alternative products taste the SAME they would buy them. No kidding. If healthier alternatives tasted as good as fattening/high sugar/sodium items then we’d all be buying and eating them.

Here’s more:

January 30, 2011

Food News: Taco Bell Mystery Meat

Taco Mystery Meat

From: "Taco Supreme"

Taco Bell directs customers to “Think Outside the Bun” but recently most people have been wondering what’s INSIDE the taco?  Taco Bell “beef” has been making headlines.

Is it 35% beef or 88% beef? Fox News reports that taco bell beef menu items contain only 35% real beef. A recent class action lawsuit filed against Taco Bell’s parent company claims that Taco Bell’s meat mystery “mixture” does not meet minimum requirements to qualify as “meat.”

To be perfectly honest, when I have the option I am a Del Taco kind of girl. In the midwest, I eat Taco Bell every once in awhile and I have no problem believing that their beef is mostly filler. Even so, it’s fairly flavorful and I have no problem eating it even if it is mostly filler. What can you really expect for a .39 cent taco?

According to FoxNews, the lawsuit is based on claims for false advertising because Taco Bell says its products contain “seasoned ground beef.” Don’t they?? Apparently the California woman who filed the suit is not seeking monetary damages, she just wants the company to be honest about its product. Apparently she’d be happy if they were to start saying that their menu items contain “mixed meat.” Hmm.

What is Taco Bell’s response? Not what you might expect. New print ads say “Thank you for Suing Us.” Taco Bell has responded to these claims with ads and videos assuring customers that they use real beef. Check out this video statement: .

Taco Bell’s CEO claims they treat their seasoned ground beef like any home cook would make chili. 88% beef is mixed with seasoning, water and other items. He directs customers to their ingredient list on their website which contains more detail than I ever cared to know. Taco Bell’s official website response is here.

Who do you believe? Personally, I couldn’t care less which is true. I’d eat it either way.

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