Food Industry Initiative Highlights How Little The FDA Knows About What’s In Our Food

(Jeanette E. Spaghetti)

For decades, the food industry has been able to use ingredients that are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) without approval from the FDA. When first used in the ’50s, this was intended to apply to ingredients, like vegetable oils and vinegars, where an additive’s safety is common knowledge, but in 1997, a backlogged FDA allowed food companies to merely submit their GRAS findings instead of the supporting data, creating a loophole the food industry has exploited to include a vast number of chemical ingredients that manufacturers claim are safe but which don’t go through a rigorous approval process. Feeling pressure from the public to pull back the veil on the GRAS process and its ingredients, the food industry announced a transparency initiative yesterday that may be a step in the right direction, but highlights just how little the FDA seems to care about the “F” part of its name. [More]

Ousted But Popular CEO Buys Back Company, Ending Six-Week Supermarket Standoff

Ousted But Popular CEO Buys Back Company, Ending Six-Week Supermarket Standoff

Shoppers in New England can once again get groceries and workers can return to their jobs, as the supermarket saga that has been unfolding in three states for over a month has now come to a happy end. Inelegantly ousted but apparently beloved CEO Arthur T. Demoulas has reached an agreement with the board of the company to buy it back for $1.5 billion and regain control. [More]

5 Reasons Why People Still Buy Stuff From Companies They Hate

Knight725

In an ideal world, there would be ample, healthy competition in every industry and consumers everywhere would have access to these numerous options. Additionally, every company would behave ethically and efficiently, respecting consumers and the law. But from what I’ve been told from people familiar with the situation, our world is slightly imperfect and sometimes we end up doing business with companies we’d rather avoid. [More]

Everyone Knows Why Milk Is In The Back Of The Grocery Store

(Muffet)

It’s an extremely minor inconvenience when you need to pick up some milk and have to walk all the way to the back of the grocery store to get it? Everyone knows that it’s because stores want to make customers walk through the entire store so they’ll pick up some non-milk items. Why even post about this? [More]

Forty-Year Family Feud Leads To Empty Shelves At 70 Supermarkets, Protests In Two States

Forty-Year Family Feud Leads To Empty Shelves At 70 Supermarkets, Protests In Two States

A weird situation in New England is getting weirder. Regional grocery store chain Market Basket, which operates 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, is finding itself at the center of a massive controversy, with employees, executives, customers, and even local lawmakers all getting involved. The core issue? The board ousted good-guy CEO Arthur Demoulas to replace him with perceived money-grubber Arthur Demoulas, and the resulting furor has led to strikes, boycotts, and empty shelves. [More]

From Bread Crumbs To Worcestershire Sauce: How Long Will All That Stuff In Your Pantry Last?

Sally Villarreal

Regular readers of Consumerist likely know there’s a big difference between the “use-by” date and the “sell-by” date on food labels. But while most people take note of this information on highly perishable items like meat, eggs, and dairy, we often ignore those dry goods stashed in our pantries. And these unrefrigerated items are often allowed to sit around until we go to use them and realize, “Oh no… that went bad back when Bush — the first one — was president.” [More]

(Anne Petersen)

Get Ready To Pay More For Chocolate; Hershey Raises Prices For First Time In 3 Years

Your chocolate buying dollar is about to get slightly less valuable. Hershey announced last night that a year of rising cocoa prices has forced it to increase the price on just about all of its products by an average of around 8%. This is the first time the nation’s largest candy company has raised prices since 2011. [More]

From Gadgets To Diners: How To Make (Or Order) The Perfect Egg Every Time

Molly

I recently poached my first egg; sounds simple enough. And yet the amount of time I spent looking up how to do it, fretting over the steps and stressing over my inevitable failure almost made the whole thing not worth it. But when I posted a photo of that sucker on social media, the hefty number of virtual back-slaps I received made it clear that I am not alone in my fear of screwing up eggs. [More]

(Frankieleon)

Whole Foods Busted For Overcharging Customers In California

Shopping at Whole Foods can be enough of a drain on your bank account (that’s why they call it Whole Paycheck, right? Right?), so it doesn’t help if the upscale supermarket chain is also involved in some questionable practices that had customers in California paying more than they should have. Today, the company agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a statewide investigation into allegations of overcharging. [More]

Without the unit pricing info, one might not see the huge difference in value between these two similar products on Walmart.com.

Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Costco Agree To Finally Put Unit Pricing Online

When shopping online, it can be difficult to compare prices between similar products because they come in slightly different size containers — or to see if you’re really getting a good deal by buying in bulk — because many e-tail websites don’t include unit pricing to tell you many dollars per ounce/gram/liter or other standard unit of measure. But today, some of the biggest names in retail agreed to start listing unit prices, while the biggest name in online shopping won’t commit. [More]

Pizzle is usually sold as "bully treats," for dogs in the U.S., though some believe the high-protein, low-fat meat is a stamina-boosting aphrodisiac.

Supermarket Sued For Selling Inedible Bull Penis For Human Consumption

While bull penis, or pizzle, is often sold as something for dogs to gnaw on, and it can be — and sometimes is — eaten by humans, it’s not cool to take something out of a package that’s labeled as unfit for human consumption and then sell it to people. [More]

Dutch Supermarket Invites Shoppers To Pop A Squat And Try Out Different Brands Of Toilet Paper

Dutch Supermarket Invites Shoppers To Pop A Squat And Try Out Different Brands Of Toilet Paper

I know, I know — we’ve all got our favorite brand of toilet paper, the only one you want coming in contact with your precious rumps. But maybe you don’t really know what the difference feels like between different brands — because really, how often do you buy multiple kinds of TP and test them all out? More often if you live near one Dutch supermarket. [More]

Researchers Say “Best Before” Dates Result In Massive Amounts Of Wasted Food

Researchers Say “Best Before” Dates Result In Massive Amounts Of Wasted Food

If you’re a regular reader of Consumerist, you’re likely aware that there’s a big difference between a “use by” and a “best before” date; the former is a sign that the food may be unsafe to eat after a certain date (though even that’s not always true) while the latter is an indicator that the item might not taste its best after that date, but is still safe to eat. However, many people don’t understand this distinction — and tons of food is wasted every year as a result. [More]

Walmart To Test New Store That’s Only For Picking Up Online Grocery Orders

Walmart To Test New Store That’s Only For Picking Up Online Grocery Orders

While many large retailers, allow customers to place orders online and then come pick them up at the store, Walmart is planning to test out a new depot format where customers don’t do any shopping, but only pick up groceries they has pre-ordered on Walmart’s website. [More]

(Erin Nekervis)

Chicago To Join Growing List Of “No Plastic Shopping Bag” Cities

Grocery shoppers of Chicago should start getting used to the notion of bringing their own, reusable bags to the supermarket and other stores; the city’s aldermen passed a resolution earlier today that will ban plastic shopping bags in many stores by Aug. 2015, and almost all stores one year after that. [More]

Who Will And Won’t Be Interested In Amazon Prime Pantry

Who Will And Won’t Be Interested In Amazon Prime Pantry

Yesterday, Amazon finally unveiled its Prime Pantry service, which allows customers to consolidate as many grocery items as they can into one large box for home delivery. But given Prime Pantry’s selection and long delivery times, is this something that people can actually use? The answer is… maybe. [More]

National Animal Cracker Day & 15 Other Food “Holidays” That Have No Need To Exist

National Animal Cracker Day & 15 Other Food “Holidays” That Have No Need To Exist

I found out yesterday that today, April 18, is apparently National Animal Cracker Day. Those who follow we writers of Consumerist on Twitter may have already heard of my reaction upon discovering this news. At the time, I was convinced that we’d finally located the least-important food “holiday” of the year, but a bit of research now has me doubting that conviction. [More]

Keep Your Herbs Moist, Your Spices Away From The Stove, And Other Food Storage Tips

(Allan)

You may not use things like cumin, honey, or sage in every meal, but these are the kinds of ingredients that many home cooks keep on hand so they can use them whenever they’re called for. But how do you keep that paprika from turning into colorful sawdust? And what’s the best way to store that fresh parsley so it won’t be dried up and useless a few days after you buy it? [More]