Bringing Home the Medals

We are proud to announce that three WhiteWave products were chosen by Prevention Magazine in its 100 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards of 2014. Silk’s Organic Unsweetened Soymilk, Horizon’s Organic Whole Milk and Earthbound Farm’s Tomatillo, Black Bean, and Baby Lettuce PowerMeal were all chosen as products that met and exceeded the criteria set by Prevention Magazine:

  • Must have no more than 10 g of added sugar
  • Must have less than 200 mg of sodium per serving (or 400 mg for meals)
  • All cans must be free of BPA
  • All fish must be sustainable, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood criteria
  • All foods had to be absolutely delicious

Prevention had only compliments for Silk’s Organic Unsweetened Soymilk, it captured a spot in the beverage list:

“With no added sugar and 7 grams of protein, it’s the ultimate cereal-splasher for the dairy-free crowd. Just a cup provides 30% of your daily calcium and vitamin D, plus half of your B12 allotment. Make ours a soymilk mustache.”

Also in the beverage category, Prevention praised the natural values of Horizon Organic Whole Milk:

“For drinkers of cow milk, going organic gets you lots of benefits. Organic milk is free of hormones, and the cows from which it’s squeezed even tend to live longer than conventional cows. And it’s still the king of calcium: a cold glass of Horizon organic milk will get you 30% of that daily bone-building mineral.”

Finally, Prevention expressed its affection for Earthbound Farm’s  Tomatillo, Black Bean, and Baby Lettuce PowerMeal:

“We first fell in love with Earthbound Farm for their salad-ready organic lettuce and kale. But this year, they went the extra mile with a new ready-made salad PowerMeal. It’s the perfect complete lunch: an organic mixed greens base, plus a creamy dressing (a little goes a long way!), tortilla strips for crunch, and protein-packed beans. Guaranteed to be your new work fridge staple.”

The good news continued on Thursday morning. Siobhan O’Connor, Prevention Magazine’s executive editor, appeared on fourth hour of The Today Show, with hosts Kathie-Lee and Hoda, to detail 20 of the 100 Cleanest Packaged Foods Award winners. The segment featured Silk Organic Unsweetened Soymilk and Horizon Organic Whole Milk. O’Connor praised the quality of our Silk beverage and said, “Soy milk is often chalky and high in sugar, this is neither – this is Silk, organic, nice and smooth.”

It always feels gratifying to win awards and the praise of professionals, especially when the work it involves is quality and sourcing of our products. We would like to thank Prevention Magazine, Siobhan O’Connor, The Today Show and all of the WhiteWave consumers for recognizing the love we put into our products.

Prevention Magazine’s 100 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards 2014

Today Show WhiteWave Coverage

 

 

 

Horizon Mac & Cheese

Horizon-Mac-&-Cheese-Infographic-FINAL

Eat Clean

 

 Pure Coconut_ORIG

We know it’s hard to find time to go grocery shopping, let alone read all of the labels while you’re at the store. we have good news for you – Prevention Magazine recently put together Eat Clean 2013: Prevention’s 100 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards where they reveal the best, healthiest, and cleanest boxed and bagged foods on the market. Prevention’s editors ate their way through mountains of food in search of the most nutritious, delicious choices with the cleanest ingredients.

How clean do these foods need to be to make the list? Check out the criteria for foods to even be considered for the 100 Cleanest Packaged Food List.

  • Must not contain GMO ingredients. (Brownie points to those bearing the “Non-GMO Project Verified Seal”, which denotes foods that have been vetted through the non-profit Non-GMO Project, America’s only third party verification for products produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance.)
  • Must have no more than 10 g of added sugar
  • Must have less than 200 mg of sodium  per serving (or 400 mg for meals)
  • All cans must be free of BPA
  • All fish must be sustainable, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood criteria
  • All foods had to be absolutely delicious 

We’re proud to announce that Silk Pure Coconut® was named to this list under the breakfast category. And, Horizon Organic® Cream Cheese, reduced fat was named to the list under the lunch category.HO_RedFat_CreamCheese_3_11

You can check out all 100 foods named to Prevention’s 100 Cleanest Packaged Foods list here: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/100-cleanest-packaged-food-awards-2013

How nice of Prevention to read the labels for us!

Don’t forget the milk

A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that not enough children and teens drink low-fat milk.  Instead, many are drinking 2 percent or whole milk regularly. However, recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, and the American Academy of Pediatrics state that all children aged two years and over should be drinking low-fat milk in order to avoid unnecessary fat and calories and to help prevent obesity.

Well guess what?  We’ve got a solution! To all the moms out there, packing school lunches and stocking cupboards and fridges nationwide: meet Horizon Organic’s lowfat milk boxes.  Not only are they convenient, but the delicious milk inside has changed from 2% to 1%, thereby reducing the amount of sugar, fat and calories in our plain, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla single serve milk boxes.

So lose the guilt and start handing these puppies out to the kids.  You can even sneak a few yourself guilt-free – the grown-ups around here have certainly been known to knock a few back ourselves…

The latest U.S. food trends

Recently, the NPD Group released their 26th annual report on Eating Patterns in America.  Created by nationally recognized food expert Harry Balzer, the Eating Patterns in America report examines food and beverage consumption in-home and away-from-home and addresses health and nutrition, demographic shifts and the economic factors driving consumption.

As dry as that sounds, I’m always intrigued by the nuggets of information that come out of these annual report about what we, as U.S. consumers, are eating and our attitudes about food.

This year, I thought one of the more interesting tidbits was that nearly every American household now reports buying produce from a farmer’s market at least once a year. Room for improvement, but still, a pretty good indicator that more Americans are at least trying to support local farmers and farmers markets.

The report also showed that more of us are “buying” health in a pill.  More U.S. consumers are taking vitamins, mineral supplements or dietary aids on a daily basis than ever before. In fact, 54 percent of respondents reported using these products. That may also account for the rapid success and sustained growth of Horizon Organic’s milk enhanced with plant-based, vegetarian DHA-Omega 3.  Why not kill two birds with one stone – drink your milk AND feed your body a valuable nutrient that may help support brain, heart and eye health?

And finally, if you’re interested, here are some of the foods and beverages that U.S. consumers ate more of in 2010 than ever before:

  • Pizza
  • Fruit
  • Salty Snacks
  • Yogurt
  • Breakfast Sandwiches
  • Hot Cereal
  • Iced Tea

I have to admit, I’m pretty sure I contributed to the uptick in pizza consumption….

RIP, Food Pyramid

This week the USDA officially bid adieu to the Food Guide Pyramid and unveiled a new symbol of healthy eating called MyPlate. It’s designed to be an easy-to-understand visual to help Americans make the key messages of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines a reality in their daily meals.

The Food Guide Pyramid was originally conceived in 1992 and was not aging particularly gracefully as a nutrition education tool so most nutrition professionals including me were not sad to see it go. (For a trip down memory lane, check out this collection of previous editions of the Pyramid and other icons).

My take on MyPlate? A big step in the right direction. We eat off of plates, not pyramids, so this is a much easier way to visualize what constitutes a healthy meal. The simplicity of the icon is key given that many consumers are increasingly overwhelmed with conflicting health and nutrition advice. It’s much less important how many spears of broccoli or orange slices constitute a serving; just make about half your plate fruits & veggies and you’re good. I’m also a fan of the depiction of a more general “protein” group – protein is more than just meat and the plate recommends plant-based sources of protein like beans, peas and soy in addition to meat, poultry and seafood.

Of course, there’s room for improvement. It’s not immediately obvious where many common foods fit into MyPlate – for example soymilk (dairy) or nuts (protein). Mixed foods like burritos, sandwiches and pizza also present a challenge, and many people will need guidance on just how big their plates should be. As a general guide though, I think it works. The plate alone is not designed to be the end-all, be-all healthy eating solution; rather it’s the symbol of a much larger consumer nutrition education campaign that will be unveiled over the coming months by USDA and other partners, so stay tuned!

What are your thoughts? Is MyPlate a more useful guide to illustrate healthy eating than MyPyramid?

 

Silk vs. Milk

I grew up a milk drinker. And before starting at WhiteWave the thought of trying soy milk never crossed my mind. Yeah, I’ll admit it. Despite being exposed to, and responsible for helping to market our Silk brand on a daily basis, I had no real desire to try it. Like I said, I was a milk drinker.

At least until one faithful morning a few years back, when after stopping by the Wave Café to grab a bowl of cereal I found that the milk was all gone. Only thing available – Silk Vanilla Soy Milk. So I figured what the heck… I’ll try it. Now every time I eat Cheerios, I opt for the soy. It’s seriously delicious.

Now to be clear I haven’t given up on milk completely but I’ve got a good balance going between the two, and Silk’s got a new campaign to challenge you to do the same. All you need to do is take ten days, and swap your milk, for Silk.

Head on over to the website for tips on how to get started. The site offers coupons, a 10-day plan with tips and ideas to help you make the swap. And the site also includes information about the nutritional, taste and environmental benefits of using Silk’s plant-based milks.

To help you get inspired, Check out a few of the videos produced by some of our loyal Silk drinkers as part of a 10-Day Challenge contest….

 

 

 

Better late than never…

This week the USDA released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These Guidelines are revised every five years, and serve as the foundation for federal nutrition policy and programs.

In a nutshell, the Guidelines recommend we consume more “nutrient-dense” foods (translation: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat/fat-free dairy products, and protein sources like seafood, lean meats & poultry, and plant proteins like soy foods, beans, nuts and seeds) and less foods contributing sodium , solid fats and added sugars (translation:  less fast food, processed foods, fried foods, fatty meats, sodas and sugary drinks, cakes, cookies and candy). Shocking, no?

While these recommendations haven’t changed much since 2005 edition, for the first time the Guidelines do specifically address the need for most Americans to EAT LESS.  This is an obvious, but necessary reminder in light of the sky-rocketing obesity rates in the U.S.

The full report is 94 pages long, but can be boiled down to the following key messages:

Balance Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk (Note: fortified soymilk was also recommended as a dairy equivalent)

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals — and choose the foods with lower numbers
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks

My take:  thumbs up to the nod for more plant-based foods and for enjoying our food while being mindful of calories (the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive!). I’d like to see even more specifics around how to make these guidelines actionable for Americans every day.

While some may take issue with the “politicization” of the Guidelines, they are certainly scientifically sound, and if followed, would go a long way toward improving the health of Americans.  There is a big opportunity to increase awareness – many estimate that fewer than 3% of Americans follow the Guidelines.

A clear sign of the communication problem (besides the fact that 60%+ of Americans are overweight): USDA Secretary Vilsack admitted that before he was appointed Secretary, he’d never read the Dietary Guidelines himself. D’oh!  It’s little wonder then that most Americans aren’t paying much attention. The USDA is promising a revised food guide pyramid in the coming months as well as other nutrition education initiatives in support of the Guidelines, so stay tuned. Here’s hoping these efforts can help bring them to life and into the everyday diets of Americans.