Food labeling in 2006

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2006 Food Forecast

The good news:

More allergy information will be included on labels, which is not only good for people with severe food allergies, but for vegans since dairy and eggs are common allergens. The best parts:

  • “If there are any egg, peanut, nut, fish, shellfish, wheat or soy in a product, the label will have to say so.”
  • ” Goodbye to non-descriptive words such as “artificial” or “natural” flavors, colors or additives. Labels with those ingredients also will have to specify which allergens they contain.” Whether this means that any animal-derived products in the natural flavoring will need to be labeled is not clear.
  • “If “casein” is included, “milk” would be listed after it.”

Also good: trans-fat will appear on labels. As a result of having to add this to the label, many food companies have cut back significantly or eliminated trans-fat from their products.

The bad news:

There’s still no universally accepted “Vegan” symbol on food packages. This may actually be a good thing, because really there hasn’t been enough discussion on the issue. For instance, if something is produced on equipment that is also used for dairy, should it be labeled vegan? If a product is made by a company that also makes meat products, is that product vegan? There are some tricky issues.

Also bad/stupid: well, I’ll let the article do the talking:

[F]ood forecasters are predicting some provocative trends, including such possibilities as Christian-raised chicken…

Trend expert Faith Popcorn, keynote speaker at the Future of Food conference last month in Washington, and the person who predicted the “cocooning” craze of the 1990s, sees faith-friendly food showing up in the marketplace, an outgrowth of what her company calls “clanning,” or the desire to belong to groups with common ideas.

Tyson Foods, which makes chicken, beef and pork products, already has begun offering free downloadable prayer booklets on its Web site. The booklets provide mealtime prayers in a variety of faiths.

Before I comment, I love the fact that the food trend expert’s name is “Faith Popcorn.” I would have killed to be born with that name.

I hadn’t heard of the idea of “Christian-raised chicken” before, and predictably, it strikes me as pretty stupid. If you’re that concerned about how your religious beliefs coincide with how your food is raised, shouldn’t you consider just, you know, not eating meat? I suspect that this kind of falls into the same category as halal meats, but without the long-standing tradition.

And does anyone else find it hilarious — and at the same time, deeply troubling — that Tyson Foods is producing prayer booklets?

Feel free to suggest prayers in the comments that Tyson could include on their web site.

4 Responses to “Food labeling in 2006”

  1. mipmup

    the booklets! ugh. imagine being on the marketing team there. jeez.

  2. Howard

    THis is long, but none the less interesting. Im a utah vegan, however, not mormon. THese were found by the Utah Animal Rights Coalition on the ldsveg.org website linking vegetarianism/veganism to the book of mormon:

    When God first made man upon the earth, he was a different being entirely to what he now is; his body was strong, athletic, robust, and healthy; his days were prolonged upon the earth; he lived nearly one thousand years, his mind was vigorous and active, and his intellectual faculties clear and comprehensive, but he has become degenerated. . . . Man is not now that dignified, noble, majestic, honorable and mighty being that he was when he first proceeded from the hands of his Maker. . . . (the Lord) has appointed the word of wisdom as one of the engines to. . . .remove the beastly appetites, the murderous disposition and the vitiated taste of man; to restore his body to health, and vigour, promote peace between him and the brute creation . . . .” – Hyrum Smith, Times and Seasons, 6-1-1842, pp.799-800

    Joseph Smith: In pitching my tent we found three massasaguas, or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, “Let them alone–don’t hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the suckling child can play with the serpent in safety.”

    Brigham Young: When men live to the age of a tree, their food will be fruit.
    If the people were willing to receive the true knowledge from heaven in regard to their diet they would cease eating swines flesh. I know this as well as Moses knew it.

    Apostle John A. Widtsoe:. . . plants contain all of the necessary food substances: proteins, fats, starches, and other carbohydrates, minerals and water [and vitamins]. The great Builder of the earth provided well for the physical needs of His children. (Priesthood manual)

    Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th President: Small children do not need the flesh of animals. May I add also that adults would be far better if they would refrain from too much eating of meat. As far as I am concerned the eating of meat should be very sparingly. In fact, I will be contented if the Millennium was to be ushered in next week. When it is, we will learn that the eating of meat is not good for us. Why do we feel that we do not have a square meal unless it is based largely on meat? Let the dumb animals live. They enjoy life as well as we do…Naturally, in times of famine the flesh of animals was perhaps a necessity, but in my judgment when the Millennium reaches us, we will live above the need of killing dumb innocent animals and eating them. If we will take this stand in my judgment, we may live longer.

    Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President: We need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the kings meat and whose countenances show it.
    But what needs additional emphasis are the positive aspects…the need for vegetables, fruits, and grain, particularly wheat…We need a generation of people who eat in a healthier manner.
    In general, the more food we eat in its natural state and the less it is refined without additives, the healthier it will be for us.

    Let the people be holy, and the earth under their feet will be holy. Let the people be holy, and filled with the Spirit of God, and every animal and creeping thing will be filled with peace; the soil of the earth will bring forth in its strength, and the fruits thereof will be meat for man. The more purity that exists, the less is the strife; the more kind we are to our animals, the more will peace increase, and the savage nature of the brute creation vanish away. . . Let the whole people . . . be possessed of that spirit and here is the Millennium, and so will it spread over all the world. – Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Brigham Young, p. 333

    Isaiah gives us these poetically phrased particulars about animal life during the Millennium, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,” he says, “and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock.” Implicit in this pronouncement is the fact that man and all forms of life will be vegetarians in the coming day; the eating of meat will cease, because, for one thing, death as we know it ceases. – Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, p. 658

  3. Billy

    “Goodbye to non-descriptive words such as “artificial” or “natural” flavors, colors or additives. Labels with those ingredients also will have to specify which allergens they contain.”

    Wonderful news! Now, question: Has this already gone into effect (Jan 1st this year) or will it go into effect next year (Jan 1, 2007)?

  4. mleavitt

    “There’s still no universally accepted “Vegan” symbol on food packages. ”

    That’s sort of half-true. It may not be universal, but in the UK the Vegan Society has a logo that they give to approved foodstuffs.

    http://www.vegansociety.com/business/trademark/

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