• FREE: You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. FoodFacts shows you how to
    change the way you eat, by showing you what's in the food you're eating.

  • Why You Shouldn't Be Upset About Not Getting Reservations To The Spotted Cheetah

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    Are you a fan of Cheetos and wish you could have scored reservations to dine at The Spotted Cheetah in NYC? If so, don’t be too disappointed. Yes, Grubstreet reported that New York’s Cheetos Pop-Up restaurant currently has a 1,000-person wait list which shows that it’s definitely popular… However, we have plenty of reasons to tell you why you’re better off not eating the Spicy Cheetos Nachos, the Cheetos Sweetos Crusted Cheesecake or any other menu item served at the Cheetos pop-up restaurant.

    We live in a world where, unfortunately, we need to question what’s in our food. Cheetos is no exception. All of the Cheetos products contain a plethora of controversial ingredients, like artificial coloring, yellow 6, which is responsible for staining your fingers bright orange. These harmful ingredients are not good for your body or your family’s, and that’s why at FoodFacts we believe it is so important you to be aware of exactly what’s in the foods you’re eating every day.

    Below, we’ve listed several Cheetos products and the controversial ingredients each one contains. This information is taken from our FoodFacts app, which can show you each product’s complete list of the ingredients as well as its nutritional information. Our app also shows the food score we’ve given to each product (ranging from an A to an F), which is determined by those two factors. Unsurprisingly, all of these Cheetos products below received the lowest score in our grading system, an F, because they contain so many harmful ingredients. Take a look!

    Use Our FoodFacts App To Find Out What’s Really In Cheetos

    Cheetos Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snack– Contains MSG (flavor enhancer), yellow 6 (artificial color), natural and artificial flavors, maltodextrin (food additive).

    Cheetos Puffs Cheese Flavored Snack– Contains MSG (flavor enhancer), yellow 6 (artificial color), natural and artificial flavors.

    Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snack– sugar, MSG (flavor enhancer), maltodextrin (food additive), artificial colorss  (red 40 lake, yellow 6 lake, yellow 6, yellow 5), natural flavor, disodium guanylate (flavor enhancer) and disodium inosinate (flavor enhancer).

    Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Puffs Cheese Flavored Snack– sugar, maltodextrin (food additive), artificial colors (red 40 lake, yellow 6, yellow 5), corn syrup solids (added sugar), MSG (flavor enhancer), natural flavor, disodium guanylate (flavor enhancer) and disodium inosinate (flavor enhancer).

    Cheetos Mix-Ups Cheese Flavored Snack– maltodextrin (food additive), MSG (flavor enhancer), yellow 6 (artificial color), natural and artificial flavors.

    Be Aware Of What’s Really In All Of The Foods You & Your Family Are Eating

    FoodFacts was created after our founder, Stan Rak, was with his grandson one afternoon and noticed that his grandon’s fingers were stained with orange after he ate a puffed cheese snack. From there, he questioned what was in the snacks and foods his family was eating every day and wanted to investigate. After doing extensive research, Stan decided to make it his mission to inform consumers about what is really in the foods we are all eating and as a result, FoodFacts was born!

    So whether it’s Cheetos or any other kind of food product, we encourage you to use our FoodFacts app as a tool to help you make informed decisions about what’s in different food products and if you should eat them. We want to help you you understand how foods filled with harmful ingredients can negatively affect your body, and how foods with wholesome ingredients can positively affect your body. When you realize what’s in the foods you’re eating, you can make healthy changes to you and your family’s diet and be on your way to living a happier life.

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  • The Power Of Preservatives: 106-Year-Old Fruitcake Found In Antarctica


    Ever wonder how long a fruitcake can stay fresh for? Well, according to the Antarctic Heritage Trust, explorers in Antarctica recently found a 106-year-old fruitcake wrapped in waxed pepper that was placed in a tin-alloy box–and it still looked edible! They believe that the fruitcake most likely was brought over to Antarctica during an English expedition between 1910 and 1913. The Trust’s Programme Manager-Artefacts Lizzie Meek also reported that even though the tin was in poor condition, the cake was was well preserved. Meek further stated, “There was a very, very slight rancid butter smell to it but other than that, the cake looked and smelled edible!”

    At FoodFacts, we think this finding is pretty amazing. We also acknowledge that this is another indicator of how powerful the preservatives in our processed foods can be, which isn’t a good thing. An article from Forbes reported that processed foods are a $4.6 trillion industry that does about one-third of business based in the United States. Of that industry, Forbes stated that 5 percent is made up of baked goods, which also has manufacturers in that area currently trying to figure out new ways to extend shelf life in their products.

    Additionally, the frozen food industry is projected to become even larger as more and more consumers are buying frozen meals and flash-frozen fruits and veggies that offer convenience and cut their cooking time in half. Grand View Research predicts that the frozen food industry will grow from about $52 billion in 2015 to $70 billion by 2024. Manufacturers of frozen foods would probably love to examine the 106-year-old fruitcake to see just exactly how it was able to be preserved so well in the extreme cold temperatures of Antarctica so they could possibly apply it to their frozen food shelf life. However, for us at FoodFacts, the fruitcake is a symbol that we’ve been putting preservatives in our processed foods for a very long time and that now, the amount of preservatives we put in our processed foods highly surpasses whatever was in that fruitcake.

    Use Our FoodFacts App To See All The Preservatives Found In Processed Foods

    As you can see from the numbers above, the processed food industry and the frozen food industry shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. That’s why it is more important now than ever for all of us to be aware of what exactly is in our foods and how those ingredients affect our bodies and minds. To find out what is in all of the food you’re buying, especially processed foods, you can use our FoodFacts app!

    While you’re at the grocery store, simply scan food products into our app to see a complete list of its ingredients as well as the nutrition for each serving size. You will also notice the food score we have given each product, which signifies if it is a product that is overall free of controversial ingredients (scores a C+ to A) or is loaded with those harmful ingredients (scores a C to an F). Controversial ingredients range from added sugars, natural and/or artificial colors, natural and/or artificial flavors, food additives, flavor enhancers, and of course, preservatives like BHA, BHT, MSG, sodium bicarbonate and calcium propionate. You want to avoid these ingredients because they can be harmful to your body and offer no nutritional benefits.

    Instead, you should make it a goal to fill your shopping cart with only wholesome foods that contain little to no preservatives and you can do that by buying a mix of fresh foods as well as frozen and unfrozen, minimally-processed foods. For example, many frozen fruits and vegetables, like Cascadian Farm Organic Frozen Strawberries and Earthbound Farm Organic Frozen Spinach, contain no preservatives and make for a great addition to your meals. With the help of our FoodFacts app, you can make sure that the foods you’re buying contain the least amount of preservatives as well as other controversial ingredients, and that those food products are the healthiest food choices for you and your family.

    Image from Antarctic Heritage Trust, via European Pressphoto Agency

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  • Food Fact Friday: There Are 8,690 Farmers Markets Nationwide


    Do you love getting fresh produce and other food products from your local farmer’s market? So do we, and it just so happens to be National Farmers Market Week, which runs from August 6th through August 12th! According to the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, there are currently 8,690 farmers markets nationwide. Their directory includes helpful information about each farmers market, such as where they’re located, directions on how to get to their market, what time they’re open, what types of food products they sell and  the forms of payment they accept. With this information readily available, it makes it even easier for you to celebrate National Farmer’s Market Week and visit farmers markets you may have not been to before.

    Supporting Your Local Farmers Markets Helps In Many Ways

    Shopping for fresh, local produce as well as various other products like meats, cheeses and eggs at a farmers market can not only be cheaper than buying those products at a grocery store, it also supports local farmers. It helps to boost local economies as well as preserve farmland and rural livelihood. It can also make for a healthier community and bring people together. For example, according to the Farmer’s Market Coalition, people who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit compared to just 1-2 interactions at a grocery store.

    Additionally, farmers markets increase access to fresh food, especially in low-income neighborhoods. The Farmer’s Market Coalition reported that $20.2 million in SNAP benefits were spent at farmers markets in 2016. Also, 60% of people from low-income areas that shopped at a farmers market reported that the market’s prices were better than their the supermarket. Both of these statistics convey what an important role farmers markets play in providing people and their families with healthy, nutritious food they can afford, and it allows them to not have to solely rely on a grocery store.

    Use Our FoodFacts App To View Nutritional Information On Your Farmers Market Produce

    After you come home from the farmer’s market with your bountiful assortment of fruits, vegetables and other food products, you may be interested in knowing the nutrition of each item. You can use our FoodFacts app to look up many food items and add them to your dairy. For example, if you’re curious how many grams of sugar are in 1 cup of blueberries you got from the farmer’s market, you can use this generic blueberry food item from our database as your reference. Likewise, if you want to know how many vitamins are in a serving of kale that you got from the farmer’s market you can use this generic kale product found through our app as your reference, too. We encourage you to record what you’re eating throughout the day in the diary section of our FoodFacts app so that you can see and understand exactly what you’re putting into your body.

    Love Your Local Farmers Market

    Everyone deserves to have access to healthy, nutritious foods and farmers markets are a perfect outlet for providing that to people of all income levels. Why not take a trip this weekend with your family to a local market and buy some fresh summer veggies and fruits to bring home and use to prepare a beautiful, healthy meal. Take advantage of all the benefits farmers markets provide and, at the same time, feel good about the fact that you’re also supporting the farmers in your community that work hard to provide you with wholesome foods.

    Image from Point Pleasant Beach & Bay Head Farmers Markets, Instagram @ppbfarmersmarket

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  • High-Five To Hy-Vee: Artificial Ingredients To Be Removed From 1,000 Store-Brand Food Products

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    If you shop at a Hy-Vee supermarket and regularly purchase their store-brand food products you’re in for some good news: Hy-Vee recently released a statement saying that they plan on removing over 200 artificial ingredients or synthetic chemicals in 1,000 of their store-brand products by July 2018. This plan of action is part of Hy-Vee’s Clean Honest Ingredients label initiative that was developed because the company recognizes that, “As a demand increases for food products that contain natural, familiar and simple ingredients, we are doing our best to meet those expectations within our Hy-Vee label offerings.”

    Clean Honest Ingredients Label & List Of Artificial Ingredients To Be Removed

    Though the full transition is not expected to be completed until July 2018, some Hy-Vee food products have already undergone the removal of artificial chemicals from their ingredients. Those products include  ketchup, almond butter, tortilla chips and bottled tea. All food products that have been updated will have the current Hy-Vee brand packaging as well as the Clean Honest Ingredients logo, which signifies that the product is free of artificial ingredients.

    At FoodFacts, we are pleased to hear that Hy-Vee is removing several harmful ingredients from their food products. Some of those ingredients are added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors like vanillin and artificial colors such as red 40 and yellow 5. Other ingredients are artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, preservatives like BHT and BHA, flavor enhancers like MSG, as well as various nitrates and parabens.

    Use Our FoodFacts App To Check Hy-Vee Products For Other Controversial Ingredients

    It’s great that Hy-Vee is taking out so many artificial ingredients and synthetic chemicals from their products, however there are ingredients being left in that still leave cause for concern. Some ingredients in particular are natural coloring and natural flavoring. Since manufacturers aren’t required to disclose exactly what ingredients make up a natural flavor or color, it could potentially be made of or have come in contact with an ingredient you’re allergic to.

    That’s why our FoodFacts app is your ultimate guide to showing you every controversial ingredient a Hy-Vee product contains! All you have to do is simply scan the UPC code on the packaging and the food product will pop up on our app. From there you can view the food product’s score, which is calculated based on its ingredients (full list available) and nutrition. You can also be alerted of ingredients you are or may be allergic to by customizing your profile and denoting your specific allergens. Additionally, you can use our app to look up and scan food products from tons of other brand-name and private label food products to ensure that all of the food and beverages you purchase are free of controversial ingredients and/or allergens.

    Positive Strides Towards A Healthier, Real And Not Artificial Future

    Hy-Vee’s commitment to make such a drastic change to 1,000 of their store-brand food products is definitely a step in the right direction towards making packaged foods and beverages better and healthier for us to consume. It’s a positive action that we hope more supermarkets will adopt in the near future, too, because whether you’re buying a Hy-Vee brand product or any other brand, all food products should be completely free of controversial ingredients. And once again, that is also why we encourage you to utilize our FoodFacts app to help you better understand what is really in the foods you’re eating so you can live a happier and healthier life!

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  • Monday Motivation: Befriending The Scale

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    There’s one item in our bathroom that often makes us anxious each time we look at it: the scale. It holds the power of telling us if we’re gaining weight or losing weight, which then puts us in a happy mood or leaves us feeling discouraged. Though it has been debated whether or not stepping on the scale helps you lose weight, at FoodFacts we believe that there are benefits to stepping on the scale once a week as a way to keep you in check and become more aware of your body.

    Do’s & Dont’s When Weighing Yourself

    Do get into the habit of weighing yourself once a week. For the most accurate results, weigh yourself on the same day of the week and at the same time of day, too. Preferably, you should weigh yourself first thing in the morning on the day of your choosing because that’s a time when you haven’t had anything to eat or drink for several hours. By weighing yourself on an empty stomach, you don’t have excess water weight or food that could be adding extra pounds to the scale.

    Don’t get discouraged. You may be working really hard and yet the scale reads shows no change from last week or that you’re up a few pounds. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are at a standstill or that you gained weight, it could be a reflection of other factors. For example, the increase in a pound or two could be water weight. If you weighed yourself at a different time of day, like after dinner when your stomach is full of food, that could also tip the scales a pound or two. Additionally, that slight increase in weight could actually be a positive reflection of muscle growth, as your body is turning pounds of fat into metabolism-boosting muscle.

    Do set small, realistic weight loss goals for yourself. Making this month’s goal to lose 2-5 pounds is a lot more doable than making a goal of losing 10 pounds. By making a much more realistic goal, you don’t psych yourself out. Likewise, making a new small goal each month might be more of a feasible challenge you can tackle instead of making a year-long goal of losing a high number of pounds.

    Do record your weekly weigh-in results. Seeing the progress you’ve made will encourage you even more to continue to eat right and exercise. This will also help encourage you on weeks when you haven’t been eating that healthy because you can view your what your weight was in previous months and tell yourself to reboot and get back to a healthier diet and exercise routine. Additionally, you can update your weight on our FoodFacts app as well as log all of your meals to further keep you on track with how many calories you’re consuming. This will also help you better understand what you’re putting into your body on a daily basis since our app allows you to record all of your progress and offers important insight on all of the foods and beverages you’re consuming. You will be able to see what food products score low because of controversial ingredients and what food products are good for you to eat because they contain nutritious ingredients.

    Don’t become obsessed with weighing yourself. Stick with just once a week, at the same time of day. When you get in the habit of weighing yourself multiple days or every day of the week, it can mentally put too much pressure and anxiety on you. You might also want to stick to weighing yourself during the week instead of the weekends, since one study points out that you tend to weigh more during the weekends.

    Do celebrate your weight loss success, but in a healthy way! Achieving your weight loss goals are a huge deal that you should feel proud of and celebrate. However, instead of treating yourself to a cheat meal that may leave you feeling bloated or guilty, you should opt for a healthier way to celebrate. Treat yourself to a spa day or buy a new pair of yoga pants to show off at your next class. You could also grab a healthy fresh-pressed vegetable juice at a local cafe or go for a jog at your favorite park. Feel good about your accomplishments and show your body some love in a positive way that keeps you on your journey to a healthier you.

    Befriend The Scale & Make Strides Towards A Healthier Lifestyle

    When you hold yourself accountable and weigh yourself once a week, you are allowing you to be honest with yourself. Regardless of what the number on the scale is, it is important to remember the hard work you are putting into living a healthier lifestyle and you should be proud at the progress you are making, no matter how big or small. We need to make the scale not our enemy, but rather a helpful tool that keeps us on track, just like when we use our FoodFacts app and use it to log our food as well as our all of our health goals. Over time, both tools can help us in different ways to be happier and healthier!

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