Salty Pizza And Other Food Labeling Fights

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Perhaps the salt in our food is the catalyst for Wellness Warrior’s and other health watchdog groups’ salty attitudes about our food system. A recent report from World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) found that store-bought and restaurant-made pizzas in the U.S. contain exorbitant amounts of salt compared to pizzas typically available in other countries. Five Pizza Hut pizzas had 70% more salt (and slices 40% bigger) than those made by the same chain in Canada.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reviewed the WASH data and commented:

If Pizza Hut can serve less salty pizzas to their customers in Canada and New Zealand, the company should be able to slash salt levels in the American versions of the same—and all its other—pizzas," said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which reviewed the data collected by WASH. "It is probably not a coincidence that health officials in Canada and New Zealand have been more active on sodium than officials here at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

Luckily, along with the likes of WASH and CSPI, there are other groups out there who are working to make sure that we are getting the information that we want and need about our food.

And it doesn’t stop at labeling, where a fledgling effort is afoot to also help consumers understand the environmental impact that a food’s ingredients and production methods (i.e. exorbitant use of fertilizers and high-water-use in drought conditions, to name but a few) may have. The words of Emily Cassidy of Environmental Working Group resonate with us:

Apparently, many members of Congress want the advisory panel to keep quiet about the havoc farming can wreak on scarce soil and water.  EWG, Friends of the Earth, and the American Public Health Association disagree. We think the American people can handle the truth. We believe the federal government’s food policies should always consider the way foods are produced when making dietary recommendations for the nation.  Arable land and water are not in infinite supply.

While there is certainly time for saltiness about the way our food system works, there is also opportunity for action and improvement!

Sources:

Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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