Heather Callaghan & Jeffrey Green
A major shift in the consciousness of food consumers is forcing the industry into a competitive race to become more natural. The market is telling food producers that they no longer want so-called factory food because of its many harmful effects on health and the environment. And the market is shifting despite the FDA, whose approval of genetically modified food (GMOs) and chemicals banned in other countries is now being seen by many as counter to serving “public health.”
For those who dig deeper, they may find that the FDA has long been controlled by factory food corporations who use the agency to protect their unsavory and unsanitary racket. Yet even with immense economic power and complete regulatory control, they must adapt to meet market demands or they’ll perish where others will thrive. That’s the way “free market” regulation works.
Customers are letting companies know that just because it’s legal to use an ingredient doesn’t mean it’s okay to use it. It does not mean that they are obligated to use it. Although the natural food movement has exploded in recent years, it’s still just a small part of the overall market. Yet many more are beginning to question what’s in their food thanks to the spreading of awareness. In most cases where change is occurring, it’s happened because a loud minority shed light on a specific product or company to force its hand.
These clean food activists are making a difference. Here are 13 recent examples where the food industry is pivoting to cleaner, more natural ingredients:
1. Subway removes ‘shoe rubber’ chemical from bread
2. Kraft cheese singles remove artificial preservative
3. Kraft agreed to take yellow dye out of some mac and cheese
4. Coca-Cola to revise levels of 4-MI chemical in U.S. sodas amid cancer concerns
6. Broad industry study: Natural extracts replacing chemicals and artificial sweeteners
7. Chick-fil-A shifts to antibiotic-free chicken
8. Chipotle commits to a non-GMO menu
Chipotle also released a powerful video condemning factory farming:
9. Wall Street says Monsanto is at a crossroads, may back off GMOs
“Monsanto is caught in the middle of a unique situation. The anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) movement could be a threat to existing soybean and corn seed sales, while the potential to commercialize genetically modified (GM) wheat could create a huge new market opportunity. Monsanto’s decision to either double-down on GMOs or shy away from a jeopardized industry may shape the future of agricultural technology.”
10. Whole Foods stores dropping GMOs, adding labeling
11. Despite FDA warnings about raw milk, demand continues to rise
12. Brominated vegetable oil (BVO flame retardant) dropped from sports drinks/sodas
13. Gardening innovators are changing the fresh food landscape
Who says activism doesn’t work? Natural food is a growing trend that will only get stronger. Good work fellow foodies!