Campbell Soup to Disclose GMO Ingredients, Whether It’s Mandatory or Not

Campbell Soup Co. headquarters in Camden, N.J.

Campbell Soup Co. headquarters in Camden, N.J.

Campbell Soup Co. has taken a strong position on the debate over adding special labels to foods that are derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — and it’s even going to put GMO labels on its own products whether it’s required or not.

On Friday, the Camden, N.J.-based food giant issued a statement urging the federal government to create “a national standard for labeling requirements to better inform consumers about this issue” and wants the government to require all foods and beverages regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture to be clearly and simply labeled for GMOs. Common ingredients that are genetically modified are corn, soy and sugar beets.

So far, GMO labeling is only required in Vermont.

“The company continues to oppose a patchwork of state-by-state labeling laws, which it believes are incomplete, impractical and create unnecessary confusion for consumers,” the company said. It makes a slew of popular products from Prego pasta sauce to V8 juice to Pepperidge Farm baked goods. Read more »

Revealed: The Secret to Governor Wolf’s Family Stuffing Recipe!

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

So just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, I got a link from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office with his family’s stuffing recipe. Stuffing is something that people tend to be particular about, and I was naturally curious what Wolf’s family would be stuffing in its turkey. The link gave me the answer: butter.

That’s right. Butter is the secret ingredient—and how—in this treasured family recipe. Read more »

Urban Outfitters Bought Vetri for Under $20 Million

Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri

One of the biggest questions looming about the Urban OutfittersVetri Family of restaurants deal was a simple one: How much did Urban pay to acquire the company?

Urban’s chief financial officer told Bloomberg Business that it paid less than $20 million for the restaurant group. (Both sides announced the deal Monday without disclosing financial terms. I asked Marc Vetri in a wide-ranging interview yesterday, but he declined to answer.) Read more »

The Opening of LP Steak

Luke Palladino, Chef/Owner LP Steaks and finace Kristine Kurilko

Luke Palladino, Chef/Owner LP Steaks and fiance Kristine Kurilko.

Monday night Chef Luke Palladino held a sneak preview party for friends, family and guests at his new eatery, LP Steak at ValleyForge Casino Resort. The upscale steakhouse passed around samples of classic cuts of prime beef, chops, and seafood. The full service bar served local spirits and craft beers, poured California and Italian wines, and created classic cocktails with the Palladino twist. The 4,400-square-foot space officially opens on Friday night and was designed in a rustic steakhouse feel by Gruber Design Associates. LP Steak joins the Luke Palladino Hospitality Group, with restaurants in Philly and Atlantic City, NJ.

Photos after the jump »

Campbell Soup Ad Features Gay Dads and a Famous Line From Star Wars

Campbell Soup Gay AdCampbell Soup took a bold advertising step this week, releasing a series of commercials featuring non-traditional families.

The ad that’s gotten the most attention features two real-life gay dads. In the commercial, a man is seen feeding his son the company’s new Star Wars-brand chicken noodle soup using the iconic phrase: “I am your father.” Soon after, his partner feeds his son a spoonful of soup and says “No, no, no. I am your father.” Check it out: Read more »

PHOTOS: 8,000 Show Up for Brauhaus Schmitz’s Oktoberfest

After almost 11 minutes a champion was crowned. Joe Heyob won himself a Year of Beer at Brauhaus Schmitz.

Photo courtesy of South Street Headhouse District

The 700 block of South Street could barely contain the crowd of revelers who packed in to celebrate Brauhaus Schmitz’s 7th annual Oktoberfest on Saturday. “This year’s Festival was certainly the largest we have had yet,” says owner Doug Hager. “All day long we had a constant stream of people coming and going. We estimate upwards of 8,000 people stopped by the festival during the course of the day.”

That’s great for business all up and down South Street, but maybe too much to handle on one block (plus a small “bonus area”) alone. Hager suggests they may have to make some changes in years to come to accommodate the crowd. “We would like to see it continue to grow … I think we may have maximized what can be done on our block alone. We will have to look at all options for ways to either expand the size of or limit attendance to this festival in the years to come.”

Read more »

Philly Startup With Game-Changing Beer Test Moves into Juice Biz

A hand-held test from Invisible Sentinel.

A hand-held test from Invisible Sentinel.

Invisible Sentinel is venturing into the juice business.

The fast-growing University City Science Center-based company has been making a name for itself by testing the likes of Victory beer and Jackson Family wines for various kinds of spoilage. (It also tests food for pathogens.)

Now the company has signed a deal with Refresco Gerber, an international bottler of juice, to use the testing technology in Refresco’s quality processes for rapid detection of spoilage organisms commonly found in fruit juice and concentrates. Read more »

Stephen Starr Sells Catering Group

Stephen Starr

Stephen Starr at the BizPhilly launch event.

Stephen Starr has sold the catering arm of Starr Restaurants — a $40 million business that provides food for weddings, corporate events and cultural institutions.

TrustHouse Services Group has purchased Starr Restaurants Catering Group (SRGC) for an undisclosed amount. SRGC will continue to operate under the Starr Catering banner and be led by President and CEO Simon Powles and COO Guy Kellner. Read more »

Aramark Vows to Trim Fat, Calories from Menus

Aramark's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. (Wikimedia Commons)

Aramark’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. (Wikimedia Commons)

Aramark provides millions of meals each year to people in 21 countries. Now, the company vows to make those meals healthier.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia-based Aramark announced a new plan to reduce calories, saturated fat and sodium levels by 20 percent, while increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains 20 percent. They call the program Healthy for Life 20 by 20. Read more »

Trans Fats 101: What They Are (and Why You Should Steer Clear of Them)

Photo by Flickr user Ezra Wolfe

Photo by Flickr user Ezra Wolfe

Earlier this month, the FDA announced it was banning artificial trans fats from food products. It set a 2018 deadline to remove all partially hydrogenated oils from food products.

Obviously, this has major implications for one staple of Philadelphian diets: Tastykakes. A 2013 study from the Harvard School of Public Health said that the Tasty Baking Company had made some of the biggest strides in removing trans fats from its products already.

So how’d they do it? We don’t know, because the company declined several requests for an interview. A quick scan through the convenience store, though, shows that trans fats are still present in Tastykakes: Donuts listed as an ingredient partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening, a trans fat. But it’s not all bad: A package of cupcakes listed hydrogenated cottonseed oil; fully hydrogenated oils do not contain trans fats.

This is silly, in a way: Hydrogenated cottonseed oil isn’t great for you either. And they’re Tastykakes! They’re going to be unhealthy. But it does make us ask, why are trans fats so dangerous, anyway? I got Dr. Daniel Edmundowicz, chief of cardiology at Temple University Hospital, to answer a few basic questions. Read more »

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