The Scoop

A Word to the Food Wise: Don't Say 'Natural!'

While many continue to call on the FDA to define what the label claim "natural" means, litigation, other descriptors and certification programs may be making that fight moot.

Gluten-Free Labeling Takes Effect Monday (More or Less)

The FDA on Aug. 2 published its final definition of gluten-free. So with the traditional 30-day waiting period, the rule will take effect on Monday, Sept. 2. Since it's Labor Day, you can take the day off.

Smithfield-Shuanghui Pros and Cons: What Do You Think?

We just posted a debate on the acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Chinese firm Shuanghui International Holdings.

Straw Poll 2 to 1 Against Smithfield Deal

In a straw poll we took at last month's IFT Food Expo, visitors to our booth voted 26 to 12 (with one negative comment but not a clear vote) against the sale of Smithfield Foods to Chinese firm Shuanghui International.The actual wording of the question was: "Do you think Smithfield...

IFT 2013 Show Was Second Biggest

The IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo, held in Chicago July 13–16, was quite a success for the Institute of Food Technologists. With more than 23,500 attendees, this year's event was the second largest in the show's 73-year history (the 1999 event drew just over 24,000).

Restaurateur Calls on Congress to Repeal Ethanol Mandate

The small business owner of a Wendy's franchise on July 24 asked Congress to repeal the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), saying the mandate to use corn-based ethanol in the nation's gasoline supply is driving up food prices for restaurants and consumers and hurting job creation.

Who Has the Greenest Plant?

The field has never been stronger – nor more difficult to choose among – for our Green Plant of the Year poll. We have showcase plants from three marquee names competing this year: Anheuser-Busch, Campbell Soup and Frito-Lay.We just opened the balloting for our fourth annual Green Plant of the...

Smithfield Ham on the Capital Grill

The Senate Agriculture Committee today (July 10) did a little grilling of the world's largest pork processor, worrying the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a Chinese firm would compromise food safety, mean the loss of American jobs and possibly lead to higher pork prices in America.The pending deal, announced in...

One Larry Got a Load of Benjamins

I want to amend a blog post I made on May 30, "Fear Over Chinese Ownership of Smithfield Foods" ( In that one I threw a quick cheap shot at Continental Grain, which, as a significant stakeholder in Smithfield, had been suggesting a split of the meat company to maximize...

A Plea for Top 100 Company Information

I want to use my blog this week to ask your help in assembling our Top 100© list of the largest food & beverage processors in the U.S. and Canada.We have our list from last year. That's obviously our starting point.