TIME Food

Lawsuit Accuses Nestlé of Using Slave-Caught Fish in Fancy Feast

Fancy Feast cat food
Elise Amendola—AP Fancy Feast cat food cans are photographed in Boston on March 19, 2015.

California residents brought a class-action lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit filed by California residents claims that Nestlé purchases fish from a Thai supplier known to use slave labor—and uses that fish in Fancy Feast cat food.

The suit was brought by consumers who say they would not have bought the product if they had known it had ties to slave labor, according to Bloomberg. Their lawyer says that “By hiding this from public view, Nestlé has effectively tricked millions of consumers into supporting and encouraging slave labor on floating prisons.”

Nestlé would not comment specifically on the suit, but told Bloomberg that it was working with an NGO “to identify where and why forced labor and human rights abuses may be taking place” in the region, and that forced labor “has no place in our supply chain.”

[Bloomberg]

MONEY Food & Drink

Pasta-Loving Entrepreneur Shares His Secret Sauce for Success

Sauces 'N Love is a maker and marketer of premium pasta sauces and gluten free pasta.

Sauces ‘N Love cooks in 1,500-lb. batches, but Paolo Volpati-Kedra, founder and CEO, says the company cooks its pasta sauces the same way he would in his kitchen at home. Volpati-Kedra moved to America from Italy in 1993 on a student budget and couldn’t afford anything more than pasta. His friends loved his sauce experiments and suggested he sell them, so he did. Sauces ‘N Love, which now employs more than 30 people, just won an award for Best Pasta Sauce of the Year for its Pumpkin & Kale Alfredo sauce.

Read next: This Business That Does Nothing But Give Away Free Stuff

MONEY Food & Drink

You Could be Entitled to a $25 Check — or $50 in Tuna

Starkist is on the hook for under-filling cans of tuna.

If you come across a headline about class-action lawsuit over tuna, the first thought you might have is Oh no, what was I eating if it wasn’t tuna?

But you can relax. Filed two-and-a-half years ago, the suit was launched when one consumer noticed five-ounce cans of Starkist were slightly under-filled. While the short-changing wasn’t noticeable to most people, it saved the company a ton of fish (and money). However, the fishy practice has backfired.

Consumerist reports that the case has just been settled. If you’re a resident of the U.S. who bought Starkist Chunk Lite Tuna or Solid White tuna (either in oil or water) between Feb. 19, 2009, and Oct. 31, 2014, you’re entitled to a payout of $25 cash — or $50 in tuna if you prefer. Consumers can get the payout even if they don’t have receipts, which surely very few people have at this point.

The news comes on the heels of accusations of colluding to fix prices among tuna brands, rounding out a very poor month for Starkist.

TIME Country Crock

Customers Are Blasting Country Crock’s New Recipe Online

Courtesy of Country Crock

They’re angry and not afraid to show it

Butter spread Country Crock, owned by Unilever, is getting some unsavory comments for its new “simple recipe.”

Consumerist reported the trend, which has customers on Twitter, the product’s website, and on Facebook enraged. Apparently, the new recipe is turning once-delicious recipes into disgusting entrees and desserts.

“So disappointed when using this to cook with. When it melts it leaves a hardened film that feels like plastic. It also burns in the oven in less time than directed, on temperature recipe called for,” said one reviewer on the product’s website. “I spread it on the top of a biscuit and it left a whitish film!” The page now has over 210 one-star reviews and jut 31 five-star reviews.

Facebook, too, is filled with negative comments from self-professed loyal fans of the food. Some of the comments prompted a response from Country Crock:

We’re very sad to hear you’re not a fan of our new simple recipe. frown emoticon It’s made with no artificial preservatives or flavors, & contains 0g trans fat per serving, and has the country fresh taste you know and love. That’s why we’re so excited about the change and we sure hope you’ll give us another chance! Also, your feedback is very important to us, so please send us a note at consumer.services@unilever.com with more details.
TIME Food

Kraft Heinz Recalls 2 Million Pounds of Bad Bacon

Bacon
Mike Kemp—Getty Images/Tetra images RF Bacon

Here's how to tell if your breakfast is affected

Kraft Heinz is recalling more than 2 million pounds of turkey bacon that can prematurely spoil, it was announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that 2,068,467 pounds of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon “may be adulterated because it may spoil before the ‘Best When Used By’ date.” Kraft Heinz discovered the problem after it received “spoilage-related consumer complaints,” the USDA said.

The affected turkey bacon was packaged between May 31 and August 6 of this year, and the affected products are: Oscar Mayer “Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 4470007633 0; Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154874 8; and Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154879 3.

This is a Class II recall, which is the middle level of three types and is defined as “a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.” But even if you think you’ve purchased or eaten the bad bacon, fear not: the recall is classified as having low health risk.

Nonetheless, it’s more negative press for Kraft Heinz, which earlier this month announced 2,500 job cuts. The layoffs were part of the newly-merged food giant’s ambitious effort to shave $1.7 billion from its budget by 2017.

TIME Food

These Pixar Pancakes May Be Too Amazing To Eat

Up, Brave, Inside Out and Toy Story look delicious

When Daniel Drake cooks pancakes, breakfast looks too good to eat.

The Internet’s preeminent pancake artist, who is better known by his YouTube moniker “Doctor Dan the Pancake Man,” has brought the world pancake versions of The Game of Thrones, The Avengers, The Beatles, Doge and much more. In his latest endeavor, he tackles the entire Pixar oeuvre, which takes more than 75 pancakes to fully capture.

In the video, he creates multi-color cakes of the entire Toy Story cast, including edible versions of Woody and Buzz. There are pancake representations of Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Cars, Up, Brave, and for those willing to eat an ant or a lady bug, there are characters from A Bug’s Tale, too. Ratatouille‘s harshest food critic, Anton Ego, would even be impressed by his pancake version.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

8 Best All-Natural Cereals for Weight Loss

Healthy ways to start your mornings

Bad news, cereal lovers: It’s about to get harder to start your day with a rich, comforting bowl of tartrazine.

Wait…you didn’t know you were enjoying tartrazine each morning? If you eat boxed cereal, you probably are. It’s a food dye, also known as Yellow #5, that’s been linked to concentration disorders in children, and it’s found in many brightly colored cereals, like Kellogg’s Froot Loops. And after years of pressure from Eat This, Not That!, Kellogg’s finally just announced that it was eliminating all artificial colors and flavors from its cereals, meaning you’ll soon have to go without your daily dose of Red #40, Blue #1 and other chemicals not found in nature.

The company is giving itself until 2018 to make the switch, but if you want to cut down on the contents of your morning chemistry set, and enjoy a metabolism boost in the meantime, there are plenty of options available right now. The food lab at Eat This, Not That! magazine has identified the best all-natural cereals in the supermarket. They may not have a cute cartoon character on the front or a prize at the bottom, but they will fuel your day right and help you reach your weight-loss goals—before noon!

  • 1. 18 Rabbits Veritas Granola

    280 calories, 16 g fat (5 g saturated), 20 mg sodium, 6 g sugar, 6 g protein (per 3 oz)

    Fit a healthy dose of chocolate into your morning—without buying the Count Chocula. Flavored with cacao nibs, 18 Rabbits Veritas Granola is also naturally sweetened with maple syrup and honey, and features a wide variety of seeds and nuts that you don’t always find in granola (which accounts for the slightly high fat content)—like pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, and sesame seeds. One cup of pumpkin seeds contains twice as much protein as an egg and is high in iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and immune-system-boosting zinc.

  • 2. McCabe’s PB & Chocolate Granola

    420 calories, 27 g fat (4.5 saturated), 210 mg sodium, 12 g sugar, 15 g protein (per 3 oz)

    Ditch the Reese’s Puffs in favor of McCabe’s PB & Chocolate Granola, a terrific substitute for a sugary cereal or a great sweet afternoon treat. They use semi-sweet chocolate to dial-down the carb overload, and, like the 18 Rabbits brand above, the oats are sweetened naturally with maple syrup rather than white sugar. If you’re watching your calories, enjoy a smaller 1 ounce portion for only 140 calories a bowl.

  • 3. Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice

    110 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 160 g sodium, >1 g sugar, 2 g protein (per 1 cup)

    Sure they may go “snap, crackle, pop” but these 100 percent whole-grain, gluten-free puffs are a more nutritious choice than the big blue box—because they’re made from brown rice. People who ate three or more daily servings of whole grains (such as oats, quinoa and brown rice) had 10% less belly fat than people who ate the same amount of calories from processed white carbs (the white stuff: bread, rice, pasta), according to a Tufts University study. This low-sugar cereal carries a slightly nutty flavor and pairs well with strawberries or raspberries.

  • 4. Arrowhead Mills Oat Bran Flakes

    140 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 80 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 5 g protein (per 1 cup)

    “I always start my day with 3/4 cup of bran flakes with skim milk and 1/4 cup of berries,” says Heather Mangieri, RDN, a board certified sports dietetics specialist. “I’m a very active person, so it’s important that I kick off my day with a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates to fuel my morning. Bran flakes are a low-calorie, easy and inexpensive way to get many of the vitamins and minerals I need, including 100 percent of my daily iron.” The cereal also provides her five grams of fiber, “which helps keep me regular,” she adds. “It’s one of the only boxed foods that I eat, but I eat it every single day—even on vacation.”

  • 5. Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat ’N Bran

    160 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 g sodium, 0 g sugar, 4.8 g protein (per 1 cup)

    In addition to serving up the perfect serving of hunger-quelling protein and fiber in every bowl, Wheat ’n Bran—made from, you guessed it, whole-grain wheat and wheat bran— also provides 20 percent of the day’s phosphorus, a mineral that plays an important role in how the body uses carbs and fats. It also helps the body make protein.

  • 6. Arrowhead Mills Puffed Wheat

    60 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein (per 1 cup)

    If you workout in the morning, the best way to aid muscle growth and recovery is with a 2:1 ratio of low-fiber carbohydrates and protein, says Jim White RD, ACSM HFS, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. That’s why he recommends “eating something like a cup of wheat puff cereal with half a banana, a dash of cinnamon and one cup of skim milk.” The milk’s protein helps rebuild muscle that was broken down and the simple carbohydrates help restore muscle glycogen that was lost during training, he explains. Replenishing the stores can boost future workout performance—a key component to sculpting a trimmer figure. All that from puffed wheat!

  • 7. Pacific Foods Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal Unsweetened

    160 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 240 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein (per container)

    Most packaged oatmeals are calorie-bombs of powdered sugar disguised as a nutritious breakfast. But each serving of Pacific Foods’ Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal packs a solid helping of protein and fiber, and even the most decadent of the line’s 5 flavors, Maple & Brown Sugar, still comes in at just 11 grams of sugar. Plus, steel-cut oats are the least processed, and have fewer calories and less sugar than rolled oats. The grab-and-go package makes it easy to toss in your bag and heat up quickly at the office.

  • 8. Amy’s Organic Multi-Grain Hot Cereal Bowl

    190 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 12 g sugar, 4 g protein (1 cup)

    We also endorse this brand of oats—and any kind of oats, as long as they’re free of processed sugars. Oats are rich in a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan and the anti-inflammatory compound avenanthramide—which, together, help prevent against obesity-related health problems including heart disease and diabetes. One 10-year study in the American Journal of Public Health found that eating one serving of oatmeal two to four times a week—like this Amy’s Hot Cereal Bowl—resulted in a 16 percent reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes. And Amy’s has more fiber and half the fat of Quaker’s Old Fashioned Oats.

    This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

    More from Eat This, Not That!

TIME Cheese

Russian Police Bust $30 Million Contraband Cheese Ring

99643214
Danita Delimont—Getty Images/Gallo Images

U.S. and European agriculture imports have been banned since last year

Fake cheese doing the rounds? Fear not. The Russian authorities have come to the rescue, preserving the sanctity of cheese in Russia and arresting six people along the way.

An international ring of schemers were involved in producing contraband cheese worth about 2 billion rubles, or nearly $30 million, according to CBS News. The crackdown is part of the Russian government’s plan to enforce a ban on imports of Western products.

The ring of schemers, six of whom were taken into custody Tuesday, had allegedly been fixing fake labels on banned cheeses to then sell to supermarket chains in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Russian authorities have been cracking down on contraband food — much of which was banned a year ago — in retaliation for U.S. and European sanctions against the country. Government workers have destroyed 48 tons of animal products and 552 tons of fruits and vegetables seized to date, the national agricultural oversight agency said.

TIME A Year In Space

Why Salad in Space Matters

A portable garden aboard the space station can be critical to astronauts' physical and mental health

Yes, yes, there was a daring spacewalk outside the International Space Station on August 10, as cosmonauts Misha Kornienko and Gennady Padalka spent six hours performing a range of maintenance and inspection tasks.

But news of a different kind was made inside the ISS when the station’s other three crewmembers did something historic: they ate lettuce. Specifically red romaine lettuce. More specifically, red romaine lettuce that was grown onboard—and that matters.

Space has never been a place known for good eating. Certainly, the food now is better than it was in the pureed, shrink-wrapped, sucked-from-packets days of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, and that says something. The ISS has hot water, a food heater and even a cappuccino maker, for instance. Scott Kelly, who is in the fifth month of a year in space, even tweeted down a picture of zero-g tacos he made for Cinco de Mayo.

But fresh fruits and vegetables, which take up room and spoil fast, are another matter. While apples and carrots are sometimes sent up on cargo ships (another occasion for a Kelly photo), those supply runs are infrequent, and when a ship fails to arrive—something that’s happened three times in the past year—the veggie fast can go on and on.

During longer trips into deep space—particularly to Mars—NASA knows that fresh produce is not only good for the crew’s physical health, but also for their mental well-being, giving them a comforting taste of home. That means growing the crops onboard.

To investigate how this could be done, NASA partnered with ORBITEC, a Madison, Wisconsin-based technology company, to develop a unit known straightforwardly as Veggie, which consists of both a growth chamber and so-called plant pillows containing pre-packaged seeds. The unit is collapsible, and includes a flat panel of red, blue and green LEDs. Technically, the first two colors are the only ones needed if your sole goal is to grow plants.

“Blue and red wavelengths are the minimum needed to get good plan growth,” said Ray Wheeler, lead scientist for Advanced Life Support at the Kennedy Space Center, in a NASA statement. “They are probably the most efficient in terms of electrical power conversion.”

But plants aren’t the only living things that factor into this equation. There are the human beings too, and the red-blue lights bathe the plants in a sickly purplish glow, making them altogether unappetizing until they’re harvested. So the green lights are added to, as Wheeler puts it, “enhance the human visual perception of the plants.”

Nothing, however, goes onto the astronauts’ menu—or into their bodies—without being rigorously tested first. So in May of 2014, an earlier crew germinated the first plant pillows, grew them for 33 days, then plucked and froze them and shipped them home on a returning spacecraft in October. Scientists on the ground certified them fit to eat, so Kelly germinated a new batch on July 7th and he and crewmates Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui sampled them on August 10. They pronounced them fine.

There is one more reason to keep a garden running in space—and that explains why there are other pillows containing zinnia seeds aboard. The flowers are edible, yes, but they’re also beautiful and colorful and fun to tend. Gardening is a very earthly grace note and has long been thought of as a relaxing and satisfying way for astronauts to keep themselves busy on long-duration missions that can quickly settle into repetitiveness and drudgery.

“The farther and longer humans go away from Earth, the greater the need to be able to grow plants for food, atmosphere recycling and psychological benefits,” said Gioia Massa, Veggie’s payload scientist. “I think that plant systems will become important components of any long-duration exploration scenario.”

That’s a whole lot of expectation riding on what is, today, just a few leaves of red romaine. But early homesteaders got their start with just small garden plots too. There’s no reason their 21st century heirs can’t do the same.

TIME is producing a series of films about the yearlong mission of Kornienko and American astronaut Scott Kelly. Watch the series here.

TIME NASA

Astronauts Are Eating the First Space-Grown Veggies Today

Astronauts Complete Last Of Three Spacewalks
NASA/Getty Images In this handout from National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry Virts and Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore work outside the International Space Station (ISS) on their third spacewalk March 1, 2015 in space.

Care for a Veg-01 salad?

This sounds appetizing: imagine having to clean your leafy greens with citric acid-based food sanitizing wipes before being able to eat your favorite veggies.

That is what it will take for NASA astronauts to be able to sample red romaine lettuce in space, eating vegetables to that were grown on the International Space Station’s orbiting laboratory. This experiment, which NASA calls “Veg-01,” is a study of the performance of the science agency’s plant growth facility.

The project to bring vegetables to space has been in the works for a while now. NASA last year watered and cared for some vegetables in space and after 33 days of growth, the plants were harvested and returned to Earth in October 2014 to be tested. Other steps were made to ensure the food was safe to consume, which NASA fully detailed in a blog post.

The consumption of lettuce in space is the latest in a long line of food science innovation that has occurred for decades now. For the Mercury missions, which were conducted in the early 1960s, astronauts tested solid and liquid foods in microgravity environment. But because those astronauts weren’t in space for very long, a full meal wasn’t needed. Over time, NASA has tinkered and come up with ways to make dehydrated drinks, turkey, chocolate, and beef stew. Some of the key milestones of that development can be found here.

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