Food News Today transcripts for the week of October 1st, 2012

October 05, 2012

Blueberry wine more antioxidant rich than your pinot? Who loves sweets more, men or women?, and the consumer panel weighs in on why they purchase organics, for October 3rd, this is Food News Today.

 Good morning, Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting, and unbiased food news.  Today is the 100th episode of Food News Today.  

 >Blueberries boast a bunch of health benefits – from boosting cognitive health, lowering inflammation, providing powerful antioxidant capabilities, and more - consuming these little blue fruits has been "Doctors orders" for years.  But will the health professionals catch on to blueberry wine? According to a study from the University of Florida, blueberry wine can provide more potentially healthy compounds than white wines and many red wines- due to its extraordinary antioxidant content.  Researchers found the Florida wine, produced from southern high bush blueberries, had more antioxidants than all of the reported white wines and all but 20 percent of the red wines tested, all of which are considered to have high levels of antioxidants.  According to lead researcher, Wade Yang, “For people seeking the potential health benefits of a glass of wine, blueberry wine is a comparable, and, in many instances, a better alternative to grape wines.”  Wine production offers blueberry producers a market for extra berries they might not be able to sell due to slight imperfections or late ripening, According to UF.  As of now, Florida’s blueberry wine industry is relatively small, but that may change as consumers continue to consider nutrition when choosing their foods. 

>With the recent news that by 2030 at least half of Americans in 39 states will be obese if we continue on our current trajectory – it’s important we tackle the issue from all angles – this time, food cravings… Well, who do you think likes sweets more men or women? Well according to Dr. Daniel Amen, physician and psychiatrist, author of over 30 books relating our brain and behavior  - women are more likely to go after sweets. Dr. Amen told CBS news, "Female brains are just much busier, much more active, so they are going after sweets more than men because we find that raises the chemical called serotonin that begins to calm things down in their brains.  The best way to fight cravings is to stop eating the foods that trigger them. The cravings can disappear, but they sometimes have a very strong hold for people and may take some strong will power!

>Recent and ongoing debate as to why consumers purchase organics prompted us to poll the SupermarketGuru consumer panel as to what motivates them to buy organics.

To add excitement to our results, the recent Stanford meta analysis found that organics don’t differ in vitamins and minerals from conventional produce but do vary in terms of pesticide residue. Will we see a decline in organic purchases if consumers are banking on the fact that organics provide more nutrition? Probably not as our quick poll (which was completed before the Stanford study was released) found that six other reasons trumped nutrition: 

- 78% buy organics to avoid pesticides
- 70% buy organics for the health of themselves and their family
- 63% buy organics to avoid additives
- 57% buy organics to support farmers/growers
- 51% buy organics because they feel they are good for the environment
- 47% buy organics because they support the principles that organics stand for

Forty-two percent purchase organics based on nutrition.

Sixty five percent of the panel said that the presence of organics affects their choice of a primary supermarket and nearly half (47%) wouldn’t cut back on organic food if their food budget had to shrink. 

I support empowering consumers with facts about the foods they purchase, and when organic products, specifically produce, are too expensive for many shoppers, it is still important for Americans to consume fruits and vegetables and not avoid them for fear they are unsafe. 
The responses from the quick poll signal that despite the state of struggling households, organics may not be an area where shoppers cut back.

 Share your thoughts with the food world and don’t forget join our consumer panel – go to to join and click on “consumer panel”

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