The Panera Bread company has announced today that it plans to remove all unnatural food additives from it's line-up of products by 2016. This includes things such as food coloring, certain flavor-enhancing chemicals, and pretty much anything else on the label that's impossible to pronounce.
Panera spokespeople cited several recent studies on the effects of things such as food dye and artificial sweeteners in the diets of children (Hint: it isn't good for you. Who knew, right?) as their motivation, as well as 'trying to help fix a broken food system'.
The company decided on this move almost entirely internally, meaning that for all things considered, it's most likely more of a marketing decision rather then one made out of the goodness of their hearts. But it's still a good move for a company which this writer hadn't even heard of before.
Some scientists, however, still aren't fully impressed.
They claim that, while it's a good move to reduce or eliminate the consumption of food additives, if a company really wanted to make a difference on the public health, they would also remove the extra amounts of salt, sugar, and other unneeded ingredients from their foods. As well as offering a wider rage of whole grain breads and fresh produce to round out consumers diets.
However, marketing ploy or not, it's still a good move in the right direction. And hopefully other companies will take note of all the positive press surrounding this decision and mayhaps change their own offerings.