Posts Tagged ‘Kroger’

Risky Business: Sprouts

April 25, 2016


Jack-The-Green-SproutsI am a lover of most things vegetable. I prefer a mound of greens to a juicy steak any day of the year. I love my vegetables raw, steamed, fried, sautéed, and roasted. There are very few I don’t care for, and  one of those are sprouts. I don’t just dislike them, I detest them.

The hairy consistency and overall earthiness of them is off putting. If the taste and texture isn’t enough to make you back off, these new findings just might.

Sprouts appear on the list of foodborne illness outbreaks more regularly than other foods. The frequent outbreaks have some stores and restuarants taking great measures to mitigate the risks of selling a potentially dangerous “health” food.

When ordering at sandwich chain Jimmy John’s online, a warning pops up stating.”The consumption of raw sprouts may result in an increased risk of foodborne illness and poses a health risk to everyone. Click ‘Yes’ if you understand the potential risks, or ‘Cancel’ if you’d like to continue without adding sprouts.”  The restaurant has been victim of multiple outbreaks of sprout related illness in the last several years.

Kroger and Walmart have deemed sprouts ” too dangerous to sell,” and have opted out of carrying them since 2012.

Why are sprouts, often though of as a health food so susceptible to contamination? Sprout seeds need warmth and humidity to grow, as do many pathogens, causing them to flourish. Because they are eaten raw, the risk is even higher.

Although thorough testing of seeds and seed water have been employed to reduce risk, the outbreaks continue. For now, it is best to pass them by.

photo: Jack and the Green Sprouts / barf blog

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Food Power

October 3, 2013


There are lots of ways to cut back on food waste. We have written about many of them, from up cycling leftovers at home, to the new business launch that uses expired produce that is still edible to provide low cost options for groceries and prepared foods.

Today’s post focuses on another big retailer who is doing their part to make use of  excess products.

Kroger has started using the food waste from its subsidiaries, Ralphs and Food 4 Less, to power its distribution center.

Previously, the stores trucked its 150 tons of food waste to their distribution center for consolidation, and then trucked it to a composter, 100 miles away.

To make better use of the food waste, the company has installed an anaerobic digestive system that allows them to convert food into biogas, providing power to run the facility.

The food goes through a blending system, which removes all inorganic materials left behind from packaging, liquefies it, and blends it with water from the on-site creamery.

It is then converted to biogas, and the excess water is purified and recycled. The remaining nutrient filled physical material is used for composting.

While the process is in an early stage, it has been so successful that Kroger is looking for ways to expand it to other markets.

Every little bit counts, and this could have a huge impact in the future. Hopefully, other large grocery stores will be able to learn from Kroger’s successful program.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Grocery Score

July 31, 2010

Kudos to grocery giant Kroger, for pioneering a food ranking system to help it’s customers make wise decisions.

The system ranks foods on a scale of 1- 100, from the least nutritious to the healthiest.

The system, licensed from NuVal LLC, employs a system designed by experts from Yale University. It takes the information from food’s nutrition labels, as well as other public information to calculate it against the federal dietary recommendations.

While these scores are much more factual and accurate than the failed food labeling system which put a green check mark on certain foods produced by their paid subscribers, there is still a controversy among purveyors.

For example, General Mills Cheerios scored a rank of 37, while Post’s Shredded Wheats received a 91.  The General Mills spokesperson, felt that the ranking was unfair, citing that the cereal was low fat, cholesterol free and made primarily of whole- grain oats. The NuVal spokesman stated that the Cheerios had more sodium and less fiber than the Shredded Wheats, justifying its data.

NuVal does not show the scores to anyone before they appear on the grocer’s shelves, hopefully insuring that there are no outside factors affecting the scores.

Consumers are responding to the information, and making healthier choices within each food group.

This is just one step in a nation wide effort to help people make educated decisions  in their food purchases. Walmart, the largest food retailer in America will be rolling out a similar program this year.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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