February 27th, 2014
12:15 AM ET
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Choosing healthier foods at the grocery store may soon be a little easier.

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing several changes to the nutrition labels you see on packaged foods and beverages. If approved, the new labels would place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.

The FDA is also proposing changes to serving size requirements in an effort to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink. For example, if you buy a 20-ounce soda, you're probably not going to stop drinking at the 8-ounce mark. The new rules would require that entire soda bottle to be one serving size - making calorie counting simpler.
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Bugs, sand and other stuff in your food (on purpose)
February 10th, 2014
10:15 AM ET
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Anyone who's ever read a nutrition label knows that our food supply is full of hard-to-pronounce chemicals. Most are generally recognized as safe, as the Food and Drug Administration likes to say, but a few have given scientists cause for concern.

Azodicarbonamide, for instance. Subway announced last week that it would be removing the controversial chemical from its bread. Generally used for strengthening dough, azodicarbonamide is also found in yoga mats and shoe soles, according to the Centers for Science in the Public Interest. One of the breakdown products is a recognized carcinogen.

Though Subway is going to remove azodicarbonamide, there's a long list of other chemicals used in its bread: calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate, potassium iodate and ascorbic acid, according to the restaurant's website (PDF).

And Subway certainly isn't alone. What other chemical additives are commonly found in your food? Here are seven, picked at random as good practice for the upcoming CNN Spelling Bee (just kidding).
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January 24th, 2014
06:30 PM ET
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Choosing healthier snacks may soon be easier.

The Food and Drug Administration says that updating nutrition labels is a priority this year, although it's unclear when the labels will change.

The labels have remained pretty much the same for decades. It wasn't until the late 1960s that most food labels listed any nutrition information at all.
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Don't bug out, but there's 'filth' in your spices
November 1st, 2013
10:30 AM ET
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You may inadvertently be getting more than you bargained for when you put paprika in your chicken paprikash.

A new Food and Drug Administration report, "Pathogens and Filth in Spices," says that 12% of U.S. spice imports are contaminated with bug parts, rodent hairs and other ingredients more appropriate to a witches' brew than your mother's favorite recipe.

The FDA study also found that 7% of spice imports the inspectors examined were contaminated with salmonella. Salmonella are toxic bacteria that can trigger diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
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The nitty-gritty on artificial sweeteners
July 15th, 2013
05:30 PM ET
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Full disclosure: A lot of journalists at CNN drink diet soda. So when we saw a new study suggesting that artificially sweetened beverages are just as bad for you as sugar-sweetened drinks, we, and our readers, bubbled over with questions.

Are artificial sweeteners used in soft drinks and foods safe? Will they make us fat? How much is too much?
Science doesn't have all the answers yet, but we spoke to researchers who had some clues.
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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in most meat
April 16th, 2013
09:15 AM ET
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When you shop for turkey burgers for dinner tonight, you may be buying more than meat.

A recently released FDA report found that of all the raw ground turkey tested, 81% was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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September 29th, 2010
05:50 PM ET
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September 29th, 2010
05:45 PM ET
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Editor's note: all week, CNN Newsroom, Rick's List and Eatocracy are teaming up to take a look the effects our dining choices have on our minds, bodies and wallets. Tune into CNN Newsroom daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for on-air coverage and join in the discussion here on Eatocracy. ALL COVERAGE

Jen Christensen is a CNN Investigative Producer. She recently spoke with Alice Waters, chef and owner of Chez Panisse, and founder of The Chez Panisse Foundation, which "envisions a school curriculum and school lunch program where growing, cooking, and sharing food at the table gives students the knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future."

Chef Waters shared the following statement with CNN.

"50 years ago the President of the United States was worried about the health of this nation. So he inspired a program in the public schools that touched every single child, and it was very expensive to build tracks, to buy equipment and teachers, but it became part of every childs’ experience in school."
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