BREAKING NEWS: Major Beer Brand Removes Caramel Coloring!

I have some AH-MAZE-ING news to share with you all today! As you may already know, my book The Food Babe Way is coming out in only 2 weeks. As a pre-order bonus in December, I sent out an advance copy of the chapter that I wrote about alcohol and all of the sickening ingredients that are permitted in beer, wine, and hard liquor – completely unlabeled. One of these ingredients is Caramel Coloring Class IV, a completely unnecessary ingredient that is linked to cancer in animal studies. I also mentioned this chemical in my 2013 investigation into beer, and in my 2014 petition to Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors asking them to publish all of their ingredients for the world to see (which has now gotten over 61K signatures). 

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This all began because there was Newcastle in my fridge…

The biggest reason that I decided to investigate the beer companies a couple years ago was that my husband likes to drink beer on occasion, and Newcastle was his favorite – although we had no clue what the ingredients were. This was the only thing in my fridge that I didn’t know what was in it and I thought this should change. After contacting Newcastle for the first time in 2013, they wouldn’t tell me all the ingredients, but I had this to say about them:

“Carcinogenic Caramel Coloring

Newcastle, a UK brand, confessed to using what I would consider one of the most controversial food additives. Toasted barley is usually what gives beer its golden or deep brown color, however in this case, Newcastle beer is also colored artificially with caramel color. This caramel coloring is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creating carcinogenic compounds. If beer companies were required by law to list the ingredients, Newcastle would likely have to have a cancer warning label under California law because it is a carcinogen proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice”.

This initial blog post went absolutely viral, with millions of page views. This breaking information that Newcastle uses caramel coloring spread like wildfire, and was getting a lot of attention. 

All of this time, I have had ongoing communications with some beer companies, and they are updating me on any progress they are making. Soon after my beer investigation, the company that produces Newcastle (Heineken), reached out to me personally to confirm that they don’t use any genetically modified (GMO) ingredients in Heineken and Amstel Light. They also corresponded with me more recently during my beer petition to confirm that the ingredients in Heineken were listed on the bottles in some foreign countries (not in the U.S) and recognized the Food Babe Army’s work regarding Panera Bread:

“…By the way, saw the Panera headlines today in USA Today. You are driving an impressive agenda. Congrats on the many recent accomplishments (including, by the way, Dr. Oz, which I saw on TV last week or the week prior). Very exciting stuff and a testament to all of your hard work….”

The industry is listening to what we want and are making changes – whether they admit it’s because of us or not. 

This all led up to this email that I recently received from my contact over at Heineken and couldn’t wait to share it with you!

“Happy New Year. I hope you’re well.

We traded e-mails last year. I heard you’re shortly publishing a new book. Congratulations! That is a big accomplishment.

I know you’ve been interested in Newcastle Brown Ale, as your husband’s former favorite beer. I wanted to make sure you knew that we have removed caramel coloring from Newcastle completely. (We are instead using roasted malt.) This change is working its way through our international supply chain now, which takes a bit of time. (Newcastle is brewed in the UK.) The change will be completed and effective in the marketplace in three to six months.

Might it be possible to reflect these facts in future publications including any potential information you’ve included in your book?

Many thanks and wishing you a happy & healthy new year,

Stacey”

Go, Food Babe Army, Go!

Thanks to all of you for spreading the word and sharing this information about what’s hiding in beer, as it’s really making a difference. This is proof that we are getting attention, the industry is taking notice, and changing as a result. We have been on the front lines campaigning that these beer companies disclose all ingredients and remove harmful additives like Caramel Coloring Class IV. No one else is doing this, and this is just the beginning.

I find it interesting that a different corporate spokesperson from Heineken USA told the USA Today on 1/26/2015 that they didn’t make the change because of me specifically – but rather all of us! Every voice matters. Sharing posts works! Usually companies don’t like to give credit where credit is due. 

The Food Babe Way isn’t even out yet and it’s already making changes!

In The Food Babe Way chapter about alcohol, I catalogue several beers and what they contain. As Heineken is removing caramel coloring from Newcastle, I will be making an update in the next printing of my book to include this wonderful new information.

Although I’m thrilled with this news, I still hope that Heineken will completely come around and agree to label all of their ingredients. Ingredients should be publicly available for anyone that wants to know exactly what they’re drinking – even if it’s alcohol. 

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Super Healthy & Delicious Appetizer: Sweet Potato Skins

If you need a healthy appetizer to serve instead of the usual chips and salsa, chicken wings or fried mozzarella sticks, I’ve got a recipe for you that will knock your socks off! These babies are so good I’ve already eaten them a couple of times for lunch this week. These sweet potato skins are packed with nutrients, are crispy and look beautiful served on a platter for a big party or game night. This appetizer has this sweet and salty thing going on that makes them just irresistible, they really hit the spot! Enjoy!!! 

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The Weight Loss Secret The Food Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

If I had known about this weight loss secret the food industry doesn’t want you to know about – I would have saved myself a ton of heartache, frustration and yo-yo dieting. It makes me incredibly sad that people out there are doing whatever it takes to get healthy, thin and look their best – but instead are facing an uphill battle because of what the food industry has done to our food and the way they are marketing it to us. 

We’ve all seen the 100-calorie portion sized snacks at the grocery store, and packaged diet foods and drinks labeled as “low-calorie”, “light”, and “zero” line the shelves. I personally know many people that crack open a Diet Coke in the morning (and again, and again throughout the day) and think that because it is “zero calorie” it’s the same as drinking water. Well – I’m here to tell you it’s not.

Many people believe that it really doesn’t matter where your calories come from, as long as you don’t eat too many of them you’re on the right track. However, I see things differently. When planning a meal, the thought “how many calories does this contain?” rarely crosses my mind anymore. I don’t count calories on a regular basis and you shouldn’t have to either if you start reading ingredient lists!

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This Frito Lay Organic Product Sent Shockwaves Through Me – Help Get It Everywhere.

Everyone knows that chips aren’t exactly healthy and many of us eat them anyways. They are part of our culture whether we like it or not. Super Bowl Parties. Vending Machines. Side Items. School Lunches. They are everywhere and that’s why seeing a very popular chip change sent shockwaves through me and a burst of hope shot up my spine.

I was recently near San Francisco visiting a local Costco store and saw a huge display of Organic Ruffles in one of the aisles. I was really surprised to see this because I’d never seen Organic Ruffles, and in fact, I had never seen a certified organic Frito Lay product ever in my life. Turns out that these chips are an exclusive deal, and are only available to Costco members. Costco wanted to have more organic snacks available to their customers, so they asked Frito Lay and got them. I also came to find out that it’s not just Ruffles and that Costco also asked Frito Lay for an organic version of Stacy’s Pita Chips, and also limited-edition Supreme Cheddar Doritos without the MSG (that you find in regular Doritos). Go Costco! 

This is why grocery stores are our friends. It’s not just us activists that can get change at these mega-billion dollar food companies – there are hundreds of amazing people working within the system to drive change and it can happen fast. They are the unsung heroes you never hear about… 

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You might not think this a big deal. But it is.

Finding Organic Ruffles was a huge sign that Frito Lay is capable of much more than I previously thought. Frito Lay is owned by Pepsi Co and considered one of the worst junk food companies in the world – their products are FULL OF ADDITIVES & GMOs – so much so, that they have spent over 8 million dollars fighting GMO labeling over the last 3 years. 

Take a moment and think about this.

Part of our work is to speak up about these little changes because they do matter. In this case, switching from regular potato chips to organic chips can make a big difference for average people. That’s why I want to draw attention to this.

Can you imagine what would happen if everyone had access to these Organic Ruffles? We would have have… 

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