Blogosphere exerts new consumer influence on food industry

May 07, 2014

Earlier this year, bloggers scored a high-profile victory in their campaign against a common bread ingredient—also used in yoga mats and other plastics—when Subway announced it was dropping the substance from its dough recipe. The case highlights the powerful influence of online campaigns, and how they are changing the food industry, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Melody M. Bomgardner, senior editor at C&EN, notes that consumers' curiosity and outrage about what's in their food has fueled a number of vehement and well-publicized Internet campaigns in recent years. Online petitions have attacked the "pink slime" of processed meats in school lunches, synthetic dyes in popular foods for kids and brominated vegetable oil in sports drinks. So far, the results have been mixed, with some companies shifting to alternative ingredients, while others are holding the line.

Whether there's solid science behind the claims is another story altogether. Critics of some of these food say these campaigns often lack scientific evidence to support their claims, and the only thing they promote is paranoia. Regardless, growing public awareness about questionable ingredients has delivered a powerful message to the : Consumers don't trust large corporations to prioritize their health over profits. And the industry is taking notice.

Explore further: Chemical companies shore up supplement science

More information: "Food Fights" cen.acs.org/articles/92/i18/Food-Fights.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Chemical companies shore up supplement science

Apr 23, 2014

As evidence mounts showing the potential health benefits of probiotics, antioxidants and other nutritional compounds, more and more people are taking supplements. And the chemical industry is getting in on the action. But ...

When the fat comes out of food, what goes in?

Nov 02, 2011

When fat, sugar and gluten come out of salad dressings, sauces, cookies, beverages, and other foods with the new genre of package labels shouting what's not there, what goes into "light" or "-free" versions of products to ...

Chronicling pink slime's fall from grace

Apr 25, 2012

The process for producing what has become known as "pink slime" actually seemed like a triumph of technology in an industry haunted by the specter of food poisoning and, at one point, even got rave reviews in the news media, ...

Recommended for you

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

23 hours ago

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

Base-pairing protects DNA from UV damage

Sep 19, 2014

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have discovered a further function of the base-pairing that holds the two strands of the DNA double helix together: it plays a crucial role in protecting ...

Smartgels are thicker than water

Sep 19, 2014

Transforming substances from liquids into gels plays an important role across many industries, including cosmetics, medicine, and energy. But the transformation process, called gelation, where manufacturers ...

Separation of para and ortho water

Sep 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Not all water is equal—at least not at the molecular level. There are two versions of the water molecule, para and ortho water, in which the spin states of the hydrogen nuclei are different. ...

User comments : 0