By Adam Chandler
Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center released a study that analyzed over 40 years of American dietary habits. For the Bittmans, Pollans, and public-health junkies alike, the results were baffling and, by many possible interpretations of the word, disheartening. Using decades of data from the USDA, Pew found that Americans are consuming less milk, but more cheese; much less sugar, but much more high-fructose corn syrup; and 23 percent more calories in 2010 than in 1970. “Americans’ eating habits, in short, are all over the place,” concluded Drew DeSilver, a Pew writer.
To this mirepoix of contradictory news, add another Pew survey from earlier this month, which found that 54 percent of respondents said they believe that Americans are seeking out more-healthy food than they did 20 years ago—even though they are eating less healthfully than they did in that same timeframe. And, they’re convinced that high-protein products are good for them, even if most nutritionists say that Americans, if anything, are eating too much protein. Meanwhile, Americans also remain heavily split on the relative virtues and perils of genetically-modified foods (GMOs) and organic products. Given these contradictions and a general lack of consumer consensus, what are mass-market food manufacturers to do?
Apparently, thread the needle with kitchen twine. Around this time last year, Kraft took an extraordinary gamble with one of its most beloved foodstuffs—the iconic blue box of Mac & Cheese. After several years, Kraft replaced its classic recipe, laden with its fair share of artificial dyes and preservatives, with a new version. To replicate the taste and color of those increasingly unpopular synthetic ingredients, the company incorporated more familiar substitutes, such as paprika, annatto, and turmeric. But, despite all this work, Kraft didn’t publicly announce the change.
Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.