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Are Enhanced Foods Healthy?

Are Enhanced Foods Healthy?

Peanut butter and jelly. Cheese and crackers. Whipped cream with a cherry on top. These are all combinations that make sense.
But what about anchovy-flavored orange juice?
If you can stop gagging for a moment, then consider the latest health creation which includes grinding up these little, oily fish and adding them to products like Tropicana Healthy Heart orange juice. The promise is that you can enjoy the health benefits of added omega-3s from these tiny fish without the fishy taste.
This is just one of the many odd food pairings that companies are concocting, including ginger ale laced with green tea and powdered beets in peanut butter. These additives are called nutraceuticals, or healthy ingredients that are taken from foods. Soon enough you'll see them popping onto your supermarket shelves, including enhanced ketchup, waffles and yogurt.
Here’s what we want to know: Does this take healthy living too far? Do you think these combos are good for you? Would enhanced food help solve the health problems that affect millions of Americans or should we just learn to be getting our nutrients from whole foods, like fruit and vegetables? [The New York Times]

Posted: 9/18/08

These kinds of foods always sound too good to be true. For instance, are they putting anything else in the food, to, say, preserve the extras? Unless you really know all about the process of any food that you didn't pull out of your pesticide-free garden, be skeptical!

  • By aliciak
  • on 10/2/08 12:09 AM EST

I'm all for calcium enhanced OJ, and fiber enhanced cereal, but anchovy enhanced oj? Gag me. Maybe they should just say it's enhanced with omega 3s and leave the fish part out? That's going to turn off a lot of people. I don't think there's anything wrong with making foods healthier. We take vitamins every day in a pill and we think that's healthy...why can't vitamin and mineral enhanced food be considered healthy too?


I can't help but feel like it's better to get the beets from beets, the omega 3 from the fishies themselves and stop fooling around with mixology. Genetically modified foods are scary enough, without having to wonder what kind of potions have been mixed into your food.