Where’s the Beef and Why is it so Expensive?

Where business, health and media intersect. A round-up of top headlines from the past week:

WSJ: Food Producers To Offer Data On Chemical Additives
Knowledge is power, and possibly profit. With growing consumer distrust in long, vowelless ingredients, the major players in the food industry are responding with an education campaign about how companies determine the safety of the thousands of chemicals and other ingredients in processed foods. Lesson plans will include the Food and Drug Administration’s principle known as “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, where ingredients, instead of being researched and approved by the FDA, are deemed safe based on research done by the food company themselves. Click here for the full story.

YAHOO: India Asks Pepsi To Cut Down Sugar In Sodas
Mike Bloomberg tried to revolutionize the way New Yorkers’ drank soda to no avail, but India and Mexico, well, they seem to be taking the amount of sugary drinks their citizens drink very seriously. PepsiCo chairman Indra Nooyi met with India’s food processing industry minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal this week, and was asked to reduce the sugar content of Pepsi’s sodas for the Indian market. Click here for the full story in India.

Coca-Cola Co. also announced this week that they were responding to a similar request from Mexico. The soft drink giant is introducing a mid-calorie cola in Mexico—the new drink will be partially sweetened with stevia—an effort meant to combat the growing obesity rates of the country. Will the US follow suit? Probably not, judging on Bloomberg’s epic backlash. Click here for the full story in Mexico.

WSJ: High Food Prices Lead To Trade-Offs Even In Upper-Income Households
Let them eat cake. Marie Antoinette may have been on to something, as food prices continue to creep up more and more families, of all economic means, have had to cut back on staples. In July, beef prices rose 10% over July 2013 levels, while fresh fruits were 6% higher and butter was 17% higher, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price of healthy food has long been blamed for obesity rates in America. Now that researchers have found that more high-income households, defined as those earning more than $100,000 a year, are feeling priced out at the grocery store, we may be looking at an increase in plus-sized designer wear. Click here for the full story

SCIENCE DAILY: Area Of Brain Responsible For Exercise Motivation Discovered
Unmotivated to hit the gym? Blame your genes. An area of the brain that could control a person’s motivation to exercise and participate in other rewarding activities—potentially leading to improved treatments for depression—has been discovered by researchers. Could this discovery mean a pharmaceutical motivator is on the way?Click here for the full story.

NPR: Grocers Lead Kids To Produce Aisle With Junk Food Style Marketing
Calling Captain Carrot! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released new data showing that Americans only eat about one serving of fruit per day, and our veggie consumption is just as low. To combat our atrocious nutrition and increase produce sales, grocers are taking a book from the cereal marketers and packaging produce in colorful kid-themed snack sections. Click here for the full story.