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#foodbeast Culture FOODBEAST The Katchup

Social Media Has Turned Everybody Into Foodies [The Katchup Podcast]

Last week, Foodbeast Editor-in-Chief Elie Ayrouth was featured as part of a Bloomberg article discussing how food has taken over our lives. Between the instant communication of social media, the photogenicity our day-to-day eats can have, and the culture and community we all build around each other and our food, it’s become a core part of who we are.

It’s also made us all “foodies,” a term that used to only be given to the ultimate tastemakers who traveled the world and chronicled the authentic and secret foods of the places they visited. Now, anybody with a camera and an Instagram is a “foodie.”

That idea and our own thoughts on food’s takeover of social media were the focal points of this week’s episode of Foodbeast’s podcast, The Katchup. Elie sat down with Managing Editor Reach Guinto and contributing writer Raphael Madrid to break down their thoughts on the internet of foodies and touch on some of the top trending stories of the past week, including McDonald’s decision to take Hi-C Orange Lavaburst out of its restaurants and a 1,000 pack of beer that is available to purchase.

Throughout the podcast, Elie, Reach, and Raphael took turns on some detailed takes about food and social media, including what connections and aspects of our food we may have lost in the social media age, how it affects food businesses across the country, and what could possibly wipe out this digital food world.

Overall, the podcast revealed that there’s much more to the world of social media foodies than meets the eye. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to delve deep into what makes up this new digital age of food.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Mexican Coke Faces Extinction, May Drop Cane Sugar for Fructose

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Die-hard fans of Mexican Coca-Cola, let us ruin your day. On Thursday, Oct. 31, an ominous new soda sales tax hit Mexico. The new levy will impose an extra peso ($.08) per liter of every soft drink sale in the country. In turn, executives of Mexico’s soda industry warned that this may cause a shift from the drink’s beloved cane sugar to corn syrup.

According to Quartz, during an earnings call with analysts,  the head of Arca Continental SAB stated that the local Coca-Cola bottler may “move to more fructose,” as the ingredient is cheaper than cane sugar.

The National Soft Drink Producers Association, which includes Latin America’s top Coca-Cola bottlers (including Arca Continental SAB), predicted that the steep soda tax will result in the loss of 20,000 jobs and stocks have already fallen since the bill was proposed back in September.

The Bloomberg-inspired plan comes as an attempt to curb Mexico’s growing obesity epidemic, with over 70 percent of the country’s population now overweight. Beverage Digest estimates that Mexicans consume about 707 8-ounce servings of soda per year, with the US following close behind at 701 servings.

For those of you already lamenting the loss, Quartz points out that Mexicoke fans might already be guzzling down more high-fructose corn syrup than they think. In 2010, researchers from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine tested the contents of Mexican Coca-Cola purchased in east LA. The verdict? While the Mexican Coke featured “sugar” under the ingredients, the laboratory results did not detect any sucrose. Instead, near equal amounts of glucose and fructose were found — indicators of high fructose corn syrup.

Well, shoot.

H/T Quartz

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News

Mexico Surpasses United States in Obesity: Approves Junk Food Tax

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Bad news for our friends south of the border. Mexico’s lower house of Congress is following in the steps of New York Mayor Bloomberg by recently approving new taxes on junk food in an effort to reduce their consumption. The increased costs on higher calorie and sugary snacks were part of a larger bill that included additional fiscal changes and are likely to get passed into law.

With one of the world’s highest obesity rates, Mexico is being met with support from health experts and opposition from small business owners. Mom and Pop shops rely on soft drink sales to stay open and will likely have to close their doors if their customers are deterred from indulging in their favorite treats.

According to the legislation high-calorie foods defined as “those providing 275 calories or more per 100 grams, at 5% of the ticketed price and chewing gum at 16%. Soft drinks would go up in price about 8 cents per liter.” Mexico recently bumped the United States into the #2 spot with 32.8% of adults considered obese vs. 31.8% in the US.

Approval of the tax package, including the junk food tax, would generate nearly $20 billion in revenue for Mexico’s national treasury.

H/T LA Times

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Health

An Unforgiving Breakdown of How Much Sugar America Consumes [Infographic]

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Newsflash: Sugar is bad for you. In case you didn’t catch it the first time, here it is again: Sugar is bad for you, as in awful, terrible stuff. For those of you not yet sick of hearing it, I’ll say it one more time: Sugar is bad, bad, bad.

Phew, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s consider this particularly eye-opening, unforgiving infographic by OnlineNursingPrograms.com. The piece outlines the spectacular amount of sugar Americans consume, how much sugar our favorite foods contain and what health problems — from obesity to depression — can arise from eating too much “refined sugar.” The last section even suggests that based on the way it affects the brain, sugar can be just as addicting as cocaine.

Thus, while even good ol’ Bloomberg can be a bore after awhile, the infographic does drive home an important fact: Too much of anything is rarely a good thing.

Check out the breakdown of our nation’s sugar consumption below:

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PicThx Forbes

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Hit-Or-Miss

69% of Americans Ruin Bloomberg’s Day By Rejecting Sugary Drink Ban

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We hope Mayor Bloomberg enjoys the bitter taste of defeat in his morning coffee, because a new Gallup poll shows that most Americans have no desire to limit their soft drink consumption. No, not even to the 16 ounces that Bloomberg pushed for back in March.

The poll found that 69% of Americans oppose laws that would restrict the size of soft drinks and beverages with a comparable sugar content to 16 oz or less when served in restaurants. Anti-soft drink activists like Bloomberg have pushed for soda restriction by arguing that limiting available sizes would cut down on rates of obesity in places like New York City, but Bloomberg’s attempts to pass the restrictions into law were shot down in March by a judge pointing out that it was unfair to limit the sizes of sodas and not milk-based drinks.

Our nationwide caffeine addiction might have something to do with Americans’ widespread disapproval of sugary beverage restriction laws, since 2/3 of Americans drink coffee every single day and coffee falls under the umbrella of “sugary beverages.” Imagine a world in which Starbucks is forced to tell armies of high-powered lawyers in expensive suits that their usual Trenta-sized lattes are now permanently  unavailable, and you’ll probably get an idea of why the proposed restrictions are so unpopular. Sorry, Bloomberg. You tried it.

H/T Gallup

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Fast Food

Fast Food CEO Not Afraid to Say Healthy Food ‘Not Our Personality’

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Amidst the flurry of fast food companies scrambling to add “healthier” and “lighter” menu options, it’s refreshing to hear that one company, Carl’s Jr., has no intention of joining in.

Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, was frank when he told the  LA Times that they didn’t plan on changing their “indulgent, decadent” image. “It’s not our personality and it won’t become our personality,” responded Puzder when asked about the health craze sweeping the fast food industry.

The 62-year-old CEO’s perspective is unique given the changes fast food moguls are making. McDonald’s just announced the release of their “Egg White Delight,” a yolk-free version of the Egg McMuffin, and Burger King will be rolling out a new Turkey Burger this week as a healthier alternative.

Although, that doesn’t go to say that Carl’s Jr. doesn’t have lighter options available on their menu, it’s just that they sell 20 times more bacon cheeseburgers at 740 calories than their barbecue chicken sandwiches at 390 calories. Keeping true to Carl’s Jr.’s reputation as the go-to spot for hearty, juicy meals, Puzder doesn’t see the brand touting claims of being the health joint to visit. “We’re not the food police,” he stated in an interview with The New Zealand Herald. “I think people have the right to choose whatever they want to eat.”

Well, there you go Bloomberg.

H/T LA Times, HuffPo + PicThx Carl’s Jr. FB