The Lempert Report LIVE

Food As Medicine, Meta Fashion Show, Cage Free Fraud

April 12, 2022 Phil Lempert Episode 28
The Lempert Report LIVE
Food As Medicine, Meta Fashion Show, Cage Free Fraud
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to The Lempert Report LIVE. Missed you last Monday – but Wow was our RDBA Virtual Experience a huge success! We had over 400 attendees. Later on I’ll introduce you to the 2022 winner of the 2022 RD of the YearAward. This episode we'll discuss Russia & Food, Food as Medicine, FDA's New Symbol, Food Trash, SupermarketInnovation, a Meta Fashion Show, another food company lawsuit, and Marketing & serving sizes.

Phil:

Welcome to the Lempert Report LIVE. We missed you last Monday, but wow. Was our RDBA virtual experience a huge success. We had over 400 attendees later on. I'm gonna introduce you to the 2022 winner of the RD of the year award, but first Sally, what were some highlights for you?

Sally:

Well, Phil, it was , it's always exciting and surprising to feel the energy when everyone gathers online for this event. Um, it surprises me because it's an online event, but you really feel it right away. They did not disappoint this year, but some of my favorite moments , um, I, I attended the groceries for GU gut health , which sounded like a really scientific presentation. Right . But they did the best job explaining the difference between probiotics and prebiotics and how important they are right now for our dietary health. And they really provided ways to, for RDS to communicate that to shoppers. So it makes sense to them. So I thought that was a really great one. They also had some great resources in their booth, which leads me to my ex point, which was the expo hall . The expo hall was fantastic this year, as it always is. And , I didn't make it to every booth, but most of them had some really wonderful resources for retail dietitians in particular, a to milk another, a sciencey presentation that they give. They, they really did a good job offering tools to explain about dairy intolerances and what all the opportunities are. There are out there for people who are dairy intolerant. Um, I also love the Alaska seafood market marketing Institute, and they did a cook of long with chef Barton Seaver . That was so fun. Yeah . He made hand rolls and I love that. He talked about how he mod , how he modified these recipes for his own picky children. So you could make these for adults or kids. And then there was the prize giveaway, which I always love. Everybody gets so excited and Alaska seafood marketing Institute. Once again, they gave a great gift . They gave a great gift away of CRA libs Le legs, crab legs. And this year the theme was all these bingo terms that we used from Ted Lasso. So it was a really fun way to wrap it up.

Phil:

Yeah, I agree. I think the, the energy was, was fabulous. And again, you know, it's, people are still not heading back to all the conferences. There are some obviously that have done well, but it's great to see the camaraderie and the network taking place. And, and I probably got, you know 50 emails from people just saying, wow, we loved it. You know, when's the next one. So we gotta figure out the date for the next . Great. So I thank you for doing a great job of sending out the highlights every day after the sessions. So thank you for that.

Sally:

Of course.

Phil:

Let's get back to today's insights and let's start with the effect that the war between Russia and the Ukraine are having on our global food supply. It's a mess , combined both nations make up approximately 28% of wheat, 24% of barley exports in 2019. The nations also represents 72% of sunflower seed or safflower oil exports, which is critical for snack food companies. So we might see some shortages or reformulations as it relates to that. And probably the most important part is that because of the war, what they're saying is there could be increases to 22 to 45% in wheat and barley and, and sunflower oil could go as high as 60%. And one of the problems we've got is not only , you know, Russia bombing out a lot of the farms but also a lot of the farm workers are now in the military in Ukraine. So they're not able to work on the farm and it just looks like, you know, every everything from, you know, crops and transportation and everything is a mess. Ukraine has already lost at least one and a half billion in grain exports. Since the war began there are stocks of grain and wheat and barley that in warehouses that they can't move , that they just, you know, the , the farming there is really important. And one thing I didn't know is that 70% of Ukraine is farmland and agricultural products. I never knew that. And it makes up 10% of its gross exports. So we, we really are very lucky. We don't import a lot from those two countries with the exception of the sunflower oil for snacks. But they , this is gonna have some long reaching efforts on our food supply and our prices it's expected by the UN world food program. David Beasley, who, you know, we've interviewed before came out with this statement. And David is saying that our prices in the us could go up 20%

Sally:

Incredible and you know, something I didn't, no , either I read about the sunflower oil is that they, that's also something that they use a lot in beauty products, so not a food product, but something else that we see in our retail stores a lot that will suffer the consequences of inflation on that ingredient.

Phil:

Yeah. I didn't know that . I didn't know that at all. Food and medicine is a term that we keep on hearing a lot about. In fact, the FMI board endorsed it as an initiative and on March 30th , just last week , there was a food is medicine, how food and diet impact the treatment of disease, indeed disease management conference. They issued a report , which I think is so interesting. It's divided into five parts. I'm not gonna go through all those five parts, check it out, but I'm gonna tell you what the key findings were. And I think when we, when we hear these key findings, it's really very telling of what we've gotta do to improve our health medical schools across the country. Do not require that students take basic nutrition courses. Social media has facilitated the hijacking of food as medicine, as disease treatment. Therefore it has become pseudo scientific altern of medicine. And this has alienated a lot of healthcare providers from adopting the food. As medicine programs, websites are incomplete and inaccurate with their information , uh, the increased popularity of dietary supplements paired with the lack of regulation of those supplements from the federal government has caused a lot of confusion. The American dietary guidelines have long been influenced by large food companies and interest group, and do not reflect the state of the science regarding the relationship between diet and health marketing and health claims that are printed on food packages can confuse consumers research under by the food industry has skewed public understanding of the impacts of certain foods on individual health. Marion Nestle , our friend , is focused on that not only in her books, but in her daily newsletter, really , um, revealing who funding certain studies and then having some great commentary. If you don't get food , food politics now from Marion as a free newsletter sign up for it, it's really important. Um, nutrition, incentive programs , um, medically can be an effective tool to combat food, nutrition insecurity. So that's one good thing. Uh, food is medicine need increased government funding , um, produce prescription programs that we've talked a lot about can provide a financial incentive to increase access and consumption of fresh , um, fresh fruits and vegetables among targeted patient populations. This report is, is a well of information and it's really every food retailer, every food company's obligation to read this as we're getting into the food as medicine trend.

Sally:

Yes. And you know, something else, Phil we're here , we've been hearing a lot about , um, food being equitable. And th this were report talks about that. And what's interesting is at the, the conference this past week, the virtual, the RDBA virtual experience, I attended a session , um, adopting a heart healthy diet for today's consumer that was led , um, by the American heart association. And one of the focuses of this was that their 2021 dietary guidance to improve cardiovascular health is not only addressing eating habits, but it's also calling out challenges to patterns such as structural racism, neighborhood segregation, food insecurity, targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages and opportunities for precision nutrition in this area.

Phil:

Yeah, that's so important. And both on the RDBA side and the SupermarketGuru side, we're gonna be doing a lot more on DEI , um, and, and really delving into the whole food diversity and what you're describing now, over the next few months. It it's a very serious problem. And I agree with you, American heart did a fabulous , uh , session and a great way of explaining it. And they've got great tools also, by the way, even if you're not a retail dietitian, even if you didn't come to the conference, go to retaildietitians .com and you can visit the expo booths that are out there , um , over the next 30 days. And then we'll be taking them down, but you can access those resources as well. Talk to me about Ultraprocessed foods.

Sally:

Well, according to some research, Ultrapro foods are really trashing our place in it. And what it all kind of comes down to is that there are 15 specific crop species that , uh, make up more than half the world's population of , uh, the foods that we cons consume. So, you know, we've got 7,000 edible plant species, but most of it's coming from these , um, these 15 crops. So what happens is that makes a very, very UN diversified ecosystem, and that's not good.

Phil:

No , it's not good at all. And there was a study done in Australia and here, and I, you know, I always think of Australia as being ahead of us , um, as it relates to health and nutrition and information. And , uh, there , there are certain , uh , retailers down there like Woolworths that do an unbelievably , uh, great job on it. But what they found is Australians have high rates of Ultrapro food consumption, 39% of all total energy intake among adult . That's more than Belgium, Brazil, Columbia , Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, and Spain. But before, before everybody gets too excited , uh , what we need to understand is that bottom line here in the us , um, it's even higher than that. It is 57.9% of adults, dietary energy in ultra processed foods. Um, you mentioned the 15 crops that the biggest crops are corn wheat, soy and oil seed crops like Palm oil. Um , they're chosen by food manufacturers because they're cheap to produce and high yielding , uh , meaning that they can produce in large volumes. So if in fact we want to be healthier , um , we really have to address , uh , these Ultrapro foods. And to be honest with you, one of the reasons that Ultrapro foods started and I'm going back to 1950s and 19 six is because of food safety shelf life, they wanted to be able to have these products that would last, you know, a long time. Well , we're past that the food safety technology has gotten a whole lot better. We as consumers have gotten a whole lot better on it. So maybe it's time that we reduce, you know, ultra processed foods. What do you think ?

Sally:

Well, I think some brands are doing a good job of, of , with that, you know, but it , but when we go for those prepared meals, those , um, those snacks, the , the chips, the , um, the little packaged muffins, you know, those kinds of things that are inexpensive and really easy to grab, you know, I'm not, I'm, I'm not sure that we , um, we need to have as my , any of those on our store shelves.

Phil:

So finally, after a number of years the FDA is going to test and focus group , um, new, healthy food labels , um, it's called what's in a label. Um, I , I know you probably can't see the , oh, Tony put it up. Great. Yeah . So, you know, they , they've got all these different logos that they're gonna do. I don't think this is the problem. I really, really don't. I think that the problem is not having yet another label on a product. I'm gonna talk about that a little bit in t he Lempert Report today, but also the problem is the guidelines that they've got allow for a lot of low fat, but high i n sugar products to be labeled healthy and foods like nuts and almonds and salmon were not able to do it. So it's, it's unbelievable to me when I'm reading this Food Dive has reported that 90% of people still confused by food packaging have trouble figuring out which claims actually indicate the healthiest choices. The study was conducted by a test and they also found that over 50% of respondents said they would appreciate clear nutritional labeling on the front of the label. So, so the issue i s not having a l ogo. You know, it's being able to empower consumers to understand what those logos logos mean. And right before , um, we came on live today, I got a press release breaking news, press release from the humane society. Great group. Let me start there, love the humane society , but, but I'm angry about this. The governor's regulatory review council in Arizona just approved regulations from the Arizona department of agriculture requiring that all eggs sold in the state, as well as those produced in the state must come from hens from cage free confinement. The start date is January 1st, 2025 . Um, they go on to say, the chickens in the egg industry are confined inside cages about the size of our home microwaves. Each chicken can barely, we move an inch and is unable to spread their wings. I agree with all that, and we need to make a change, but the change for me is not cage free . The change for me is free range. It's where chickens are allowed to, you know, run around outside , um, this regulation. And I'm reading from the Arizona house of representatives. Um , we report 54th legislator, second regular session. Um, so what they have to do is allow one square foot of usable floor space per he in a cage free housing system that allows hen's unfettered access to vertical space, meaning that they could fly up and down, but one's square foot is probably smaller than my microwave or one and a half square feet of usual floor space per hand in a cage free housing system that does not provide hens with unfettered access to fly around. So my concern is that the average consumer in Arizona and, and throw at the us when they hear cage free , they don't understand what it means. And when I look at the prices, the average price of a dozen eggs in 2021 across the us was 1 79. Um, I went online here in Southern California , um, right before we went on and , uh , Ralph's simple truth, natural cage free , a large brown eggs are 3 47 , a 12 pack of Kroger cage free , double eggs, not brown are 2 99. Um, and then I went and I looked to see how much money eggs cost in various states. The eggs are the cheapest in Illinois, Michigan, and Kansas, Illinois. It's only 42 cents for a dozen eggs. Michigan is 48 cents . Kansas is 68 cents . And the most expensive places , um, are , as you would imagine, Hawaii, Alaska here in California, Louisiana, and so on. So I'm , I'm really just concerned that when we see these things, the prices go up and for a lot of people, you know, eggs are their primary source of protein. And you take a jump from, you know, 48 cents , um, for a dozen eggs to two 50 are higher because it has the cage tree label and that's gonna hurt a lot of families.

Sally:

Yes, I think you're right. Phil it's it's, it's not necessarily about the logo. It's about understanding what it means. And , um, I think this can get really tricky and confusing and hopefully it is, you know, the purpose of the logo is to encourage food manufacturers to make their products healthier so that they can get that logo. But , um, but there's going to be a lot of gray area and, you know, that's, we've gotta , we've gotta teach consumers how to translate this information.

Phil:

Let's switch to a much more fun topic, the metaverse and last week in New York there was a event called the decentral land event. It was the business of fashion. It was a fashion show that took place in the metaverse there's this great story , uh, written by Leia Dolan at CNN. Um, she was there as, as an avatar and you know, what they, what they found and they reported is that the younger generation already spent an average of 7.3 hours per week in virtual worlds. Something I did not know you probably know that from E li m m-hmm and a ll, so t hey h ad d o, and Gabana there, they have P hilip p lain, they had fireside chats with Tommy Hilfiger, Grimes was there. I saw her whole thing which looked really cool, of course, you know, having Elon Musk as, a s your boyfriend helps when it comes to technology. But you know, w hen, when we think about the metaverse and we think about NFTs, we very often forget the cost of doing these kinds of things. And it was reported that, u m, printed bucket hats and puffer jackets, and y ou again, h ad to have an account. So you c ould buy these things a glowing wing tuxedo from a Feliplane ranged from $ 1,670 to $2,740 a piece. Now, again, this is not a real tuxedo. This is a tuxedo for your avatar. And, you know, as, as I think everybody knows, we are really focused on the metaverse as a way, as we're seeing all these food companies create these worlds where they can sell real food, or they can sell swag or Slim Jim w as selling some stuff we reported on last week. U m, are we, are we moving i nto a scary world here?

Sally:

Well, I think first of all, that we've gotta understand, you know, for someone like me, who is, I am a , I am a generation Z and my son, I'm sorry, I'm gen X and my son is gen Z and my daughter is gen alpha. So there's a really big , a difference in what this whole virtual world is for me. And I love it that this writer in this article was talking about how, you know, there was like all kinds of tech . She experienced all kinds of technical difficulties, along with all the other people, trying to operate it as well. And it sort of reminds me of like, when my dad worked for IBM and brought home the first computer that our house ever had, and, you know, tried to dial us up to the internet. It was, it wasn't the experience at that. The internet is for us now, but this is something that is headed that way for that younger generation. Now, whether or not they're going to be spending these huge amounts of money on in NFTs. I don't know, but it certainly is a place where they've already been , um, spending a lot of time. In fact, I think about the game, cuz they talked about gamers, how kids , uh, 81% of gen Z play video games. And there was, you know, a while ago, the game fortnight came out, which was a really, really big deal and started having these concerts that you could attend through the video game. The first one being Travis, Scott, I think, and it was huge. It drew millions and millions of , of , of kids to come and watch these concerts. So I think this is a really great example. This fashion week of this is just a start, but in, in years, in a few years to come, we're gonna see t his r eally g row and hopefully, u m, the food world will be a big part of it.

Phil:

Yeah, I hope so. And, and also when we go back to what we were talking about before with labeling and so on, if done correctly, it offers our food world, a lot of transparency. A lot of convenience and hopefully, you know, I don't have to buy a, a special jacket to go shopping, you know, in , in a supermarket, in the metaverse.

Sally:

If you wanna look cool, I guess yeah.

Phil:

Guess, oh, well this is a black shirt And now , now it's time for the Lempert Report. The tables are turned this time around Walmart that is suing someone else. And the company that's being sued is BJ's wholesale club. It's an interesting lawsuit. As it's all about technology. Walmart is accusing BJ's of stealing its intellectual property that they developed for Sam's club scan and go self checkout app scan and go launched back in 2016 BJ's express pay launched late last year. Walmart says that all BJs did was to change the colors and the name of it. The lawsuit also states that Walmart's innovations were simply taken without permission. In spite of the fact that Walmart has multiple patents on this technology, this suit is important as more and more grocery retailers adopt new technologies to offset the lack of labor and increased hourly wages as retailers struggle to differentiate themselves and create better shopper experiences. There's little doubt that they'll be looking to other retailer platforms to see what they're doing, hopefully to improve on it and not to steal on it. Now it's time to meet Mandy Katz manager, healthy living at giant. Who's the 2022 RD of the year.

Mandy:

I'm Mandy Katz from giant foods , healthy living team. And I am so honored to be named the retail dieticians business Alliance, 2022 retail dietician of the year. They say , when you have a job, you love, you never work a day in your life. And I truly believe that's true because I have the best job in the world. Retail dieticians are a special group. You know, we don't punch a time clock and sometimes we don't know where the day will take us. But what we do know is that with the support of our brands, we're helping to improve the health and the wellbeing of our communities at giant food health and sustainability is a strategic pillar and having a team of nutrition experts ready to educate and inspire both our customers and our associates. Well that shows that level of commitment with the help of R D B , who works to set us up for success, with resources, tools, and programs. We are poised to bring about real change, where it counts the most, the shopping cart . And although this award list only one name it's important to stop and point to those who make my star shine and lift off our program. You are beyond compare and make being a retail dietician look so darn easy.

Speaker 3:

Thank you again to the R D B a for providing a collective space and platform for a small but mighty group of change makers , innovators, and of course, doers of hard things

Phil:

On today's bullseye. Let's talk about marketing and serving sizes. The FDA created the nutrition fax label back in 1993, the serving sizes that appear on those labels were determined on how much people actually consumed in 19 77, 19 78, and then updated again in 1987 and 1988. Now that's about change again and probably not for the better this time around similar surveys of consumption based on data collected from the national health and nutrition act examination surveys from 2003 to 2008. The idea here is to actually offer shoppers more accurate sizes of what we actually consume. For example, the serving size for ice cream was a half a cup. Now it's two thirds of the cup. We're eating more yogurt used to be sold in eight ounce cups, but now most yogurts are six ounces or less. And FDA has changed that serving sizes to six ounces. Yogurt's good for us , of course, with all the added sugars and stuff, but we wanna get people to want to eat more yogurt. The FDA also changed the criteria for labeling based on package size with the updated requirements, more food products previously labeled as more than one serving are now required to be labeled as just one serving why, because people are, are more likely to eat or drink the entire container or item. In one sitting examples include a 28, 28 , sorry, a 20 ounce can of soda and a 15 ounce can of soup and many large muffins that were previously labeled as two or even three servings will now be labeled as a single serving under the updated requirements, consistent with how people generally consume them. And if the package contains more than one serving the nutritional facts must contain the single serving information as well as the listing for the entire package. Makes sense. Now there's a lot of valuable information on our food and beverage package labels, but according is to AA in a survey conducted April, 2021 of almost a thousand us adults, just 40% of us say they look at the calorie count 28% look at total sugars, 24% sodium. And as we go down the list, the amounts decline. In fact, just 9% say they look at the amount of servings per container. Hey, we don't need any more confusion. What we need is to empower shoppers, to read the entire nutrition fax panel. Now not just one line item, if we really want to change the health of America. So don't forget. Visit us on supermarket guru.com. Visit us on retail, dieticians.com. Sign up for our newsletter, check out our expo booths and we'll be back here next Monday, same time, 1130 Pacific, two 30 Eastern. And all of our archives are both on the sites and on Facebook and on LinkedIn. Thanks for joining us .