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Not Okay

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This made me cringe yesterday when I went to get a coffee from Dunkin Donuts.

mom's heartUm, yeah, if by “Happy Mothers’ Day” you mean “die a slow, painful death from complications related to diabetes…”

My uncle pointed out that it’s the same donut they were featuring over Valentine’s Day but with a different name. The blatant marketing of junk food really tweaked me. I know, I know—what do I expect from Dunkin Donuts? But still! Cream-filled, frosting-covered donuts do not equal love! At least not when you consider that some of the ingredients (hello, trans and saturated fats) have been linked to various heart ailments.  It’s like saying, “Here Mom, I wanted to help shorten your lifespan a little.” Besides, naming it “Mom’s Heart” is just too freaking creepy!

I know I may be overreacting, but I am so not okay with stuff like that. Whatever happened to flowers?

What do you think about this Mom’s Heart donut business? 

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Favorite Tea

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IMG_2247I’m very loyal to green tea. Save for a weird six-month coffee stint in 2011-2012, I’ve been drinking it every morning since I was 20. Sometimes I want something a little different though. A few months ago, my mom gave me a few bags of this cinnamon tea from New York company Harney & Sons. It was love at first sip, and when I saw their booth at the Coffee and Tea Festival in March, I quickly bought a tin. I really wish I’d bought more than one…this is so good. Life is too short not to love what you drink. Hm. That sounds like a cheesy commercial. Ah well. It’s not like I work in advertising.

Have an awesome weekend!

Thanks for the coupons, but…

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Perhaps I’m a little bit paranoid after reading this article in the New York Times Magazine last weekend, but I have to wonder what suddenly made the Whole Foods I’ve been shopping at for four years start thinking I’m feeding a family. Is it that I started buying organic milk this year? 

Thanks for the coupons, Whole Foods, but please don’t rush me.

I don’t even know what to make of the Victoria’s Secret catalog I got recently that was addressed to the Cording Family. It must be the lacy stuff I ordered when it was on sale back in November…Ew. Now I’m a little creeped out. Time to stop thinking about it.

Do you ever get weird coupons? 

Have you tried the new Peanut Butter Cheerios?

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I don’t know what it is this week, but I’ve had cereal on the brain—cereal monogamy, to be specific. For someone who writes about food so much, sometimes my own living-under-a-rock-ness astounds me. For example, I had no idea there were so many varieties of Cheerios out there. Chocolate? Dulche de Leche? Peanut Butter?  I’m intrigued.

Because I’m kind of a nerd, I wanted to check these out online before adding them to my shopping list. I’m glad I did. While I’m all for whole grain cereal, and the nutrition stats and ingredient lists are not completely terrifying, sugar is still one of the first four ingredients  for most of these flavors (corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and other sweeteners are also on the list). The artificial coloring is kind of a drag too.

I’m sure I’m not the first to say it seems like there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing thing going on, with sugary cereals basking in the “healthy glow” shoppers associate with Cheerios. Okay, that’s a little melodramatic, but you know what I mean. It’s only cereal, I know, but it still bugs me to see artificial stuff on the list. Read the rest of this entry »

New Campaign Says Milk Can Help Treat PMS

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PMS is one of those things that is at once a little uncomfortable to talk about, a big freaking deal, and a potentially lucrative marketing tie-in. 

A new campaign from the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) attempts to appeal to both women suffering from PMS and the people around them by milk may help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. There’s also a Web site — Everything I Do is Wrong.org — and a social-media campaign. In California, there are billboards as well as radio and print ads.

Though it can be hard to quantify changes in PMS symptoms in a research setting, several studies have demonstrated a link between calcium supplementation and reduced symptoms. High intake of calcium-rich foods has also been shown to have a preventive effect.

This is a topic I’ve been reading a lot about lately. Out of all the nutrients studied for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome, the evidence for calcium seems to be particularly consistent.

I’m curious to hear what others think about the way this ad presents that information. At first glance, my reaction was, “Yeah, yeah. Another PMS joke—are you really gonna make my murderous monthly rage into a campaign for milk?” But then I realized that it’s funny because it’s true. One thing I hope consumers take into consideration though is that its’ not just milk that may alleviate and prevent PMS symptoms—there’s also yogurt, cheese, and fortified nondairy beverages. I couldn’t find any research on whether calcium-rich vegetables like broccoli have been studied, but no reason not to include those too!

What’s your favorite calcium-rich food?

Mine is definitely yogurt—aka the #1 Reason I Will Never Be A Vegan

one of my many yogurt bowls/messes

FTC Releases Principles of Food Marketing to Children

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The FTC finally released its highly anticipated proposed Principles of Food Marketing to Children today. These principles, which are currently open for comment, apply to children between the ages of 2 and 17 and are slotted to go into effect in 2016.

The proposal is designed to encourage children, through advertising and marketing, to choose foods that make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet and contain at least one of the following:

  • fruit
  • vegetable
  • whole grain
  • fat-free of low-fat dairy
  • fish
  • extra lean meat or poultry
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds
  • beans

Additionally, the foods advertised should contain minimal amounts of nutrients that have a negative impact on health or weight, including:

  • saturated fat
  • trans fat
  • added sugars
  • sodium
One thing to note is that these principles are voluntary, not mandatory. Perhaps that’s why there is nothing to be seen about how food companies might be held accountable for their marketing to children. While I think these principles are encouraging, it would be great to see something a little more ballsy.