The recent, national push for natural ingredients may not fix all of America’s dietary ills, but local nutrition experts and business owners largely see the trend as a step in the right direction.
Officials from chain restaurant Panera Bread Co. on Tuesday unveiled a list of more than 150 artificial ingredients that will be eliminated from the menu by the end of 2016. The chain is the latest in an expanding club of companies pledging to remove artificial ingredients from their food.
In the past few months, officials from PepsiCo Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Dunkin’ Donuts and Kraft Foods Group Inc. all have said they would eliminate various synthetic ingredients from products. Meanwhile, officials from McDonald’s Corp. and Tyson Foods Inc. said they would phase out the use of chickens treated with human antibiotics.
Kristie Jacobsen, a clinical nutrition manager at Mercy Medical Center, said she is hopeful that Panera’s decision will have a positive impact on eating habits.
“As a dietitian, I am excited,” she said. “Any time we can take artificial ingredients or additives out of the food, and bring it closer to how it was brought onto the earth, that is healthy – and I don’t think anyone can deny that.”