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5@5: Inside our fascination with food color | Salt studies question conventional wisdom

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Americans' bizarre relationship with the color of their food

Sometime between 1870 and 1940, artificial food coloring—used both to create bright colors that are unusual in food and to make foods like butter or pickles appear more vibrant and "natural"—became normal in food marketing. Now, conscious consumers are demanding that companies use dyes made from natural ingredients. "I think that consumers' attitudes toward how food should look have changed—having foods look uniform and consistent could be a downside rather than an advantage for food companies and food processors," says Ai Hisano, a fellow in business history at Harvard Business School. Here's a look at the history of our obsession with food's appearance. Read more at The Atlantic...


Why everything we know about salt may be wrong

Salt makes us thirsty, right? Well, maybe not, according to new research published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. In the research, kidney specialist and determined scientist Dr. Jens Titze shows that eating more salt made Russian cosmonauts, who were the subjects of his study, less thirsty but more hungry. Subsequent research on mice found that higher salt intake requires the body to break down tissue, which requires energy expenditure, so high levels of salt consumption may play a role in weight loss. "The work suggests that we really do not understand the effect of sodium chloride on the body," remarked one Harvard Medical School doctor. Read more at The New York Times...


GNC struggles for breathing room on debt

The supplement retailer wants three more years to pay off the $1.13 billion loan it took as part of a share repurchase plan that started in 2013. As it continues to face declining same-store sales, GNC has simplified its pricing and created a free membership option to help lure customers. Read more at Bloomberg...


New law plows funding path for locally grown food to fill urban grocery gaps

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed the Urban Gardens Act, which creates a fund that can accept donations or grant money to address food deserts. Read more at State Impact...


Why one founder says it's crucial to question assumptions and constantly improve

Hint flavored water founder Kara Goldin says it's important to constantly be thinking about how you can do things better, and to celebrate the small victories. Read more at Entrepreneur...

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