Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Win-Win - Dunkin' Donuts National Coffee Day Contest

In celebration of National Coffee Day, Dunkin' Donuts is searching for its ultimate coffee fan!  Starting today "The Ultimate Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Fan Contest," is open to all people passionate about drinking Dunkin' Donuts coffee to keep him or herself running every day.

To reward the ultimate coffee fan's passion and enthusiasm the company has brewed up its biggest coffee-related prize ever with a grand prize five-day trip for two to tropical Costa Rica , including a visit to one of the region's premier coffee farms (with a personal tour led by Dunkin' Donuts coffee excellence managers) and other exotic adventures.

Other prizes include a trip for two to Boston, Massachusetts, home of Dunkin' Donuts' world headquarters, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit with the Dunkin' Donuts coffee excellence team. The day features personal coffee education, an inside look into how the brand brews the perfect cup of coffee, and lunch featuring coffee-themed recipes prepared by Dunkin' Brands' Executive Chef, three-time James Beard Award nominee, Stan Frankenthaler.   Finally the winner will receive 5 years worth of free Dunkin' Donuts coffee, delivered directly to the winner's house.

To enter, visit the Contest Application on the Dunkin' Donuts Facebook page at between September 29 and October 20 and upload a video no longer than 60 seconds that expresses your love for Dunkin' Donuts coffee and why you believe you are the most passionate and loyal fan. Videos may not include footage taken inside a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant.

Online public voting will take place from October 21 through November 4. In addition to the public vote, a panel of Dunkin' Donuts judges will score each entry based on the following criteria: passion for the brand, overall video appeal, originality and creativity. The grand prize winner will be selected based on a combination of the online vote and Dunkin' Donuts judges' scores. The contest is open to all U.S. residents 18 years of age and older. The grand prize winner will be announced on or about November 19. Additionally, 10 finalists will each receive 12 months of free Dunkin' Donuts coffee, delivered directly to their houses. JetBlue Airways, Boston's leading carrier, is the official airline of "The Ultimate Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Fan Contest".

Dunkin' Donuts sells 1.5 billion cups of hot and iced coffee every year. For more information about the contest including the rules and prize details, please visit or visit Facebook ( and Twitter (

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Food Fight - FTC Issues Administrative Complaint Regarding POM Wonderful Claims

POM Wonderful Example Advertisement
Cook Like Jackie reported last month on POM Wonderful's successful bid against Ocean Spray's labeling claims regarding its pomegranate juice products.  Now it seems that POM Wonderful has a legal issue of its own to tackle.  As part of its ongoing efforts to uncover over-hyped health claims in food advertising, the Federal Trade Commission has issued an administrative complaint charging the makers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements with making false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.

The FTC complaint charges that POM Wonderful LLC, sister corporation Roll International Corp., and principals Stewart Resnick, Lynda Resnick, and Matthew Tupper violated federal law by making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims. The ads in question appeared in national publications such as Parade, Fitness, The New York Times , and Prevention magazines; on Internet sites such as,, and; on bus stops and billboards; in newsletters to customers; and on tags attached to the product.

POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice is widely available at grocery stores nationwide, and a 16 oz. bottle retails for approximately $3.99. POMx pills and liquid extract are sold via direct mail, with a one-month supply costing approximately $30.

The Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection staunchly contested POM Wonderful's claims and the scientific data used to support them.  "Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled," said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made. Contrary to POM Wonderful's advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses."

Some of the advertising claims included statements such as "SUPER HEALTH POWERS! ... 100% PURE POMEGRANATE JUICE ... Backed by $25 million in medical research. Proven to fight for cardiovascular, prostate and erectile health." "NEW RESEARCH OFFERS FURTHER PROOF OF THE HEART-HEALTHY BENEFITS OF POM WONDERFUL JUICE. 30% DECREASE IN ARTERIAL PLAQUE ... 17% IMPROVED BLOOD FLOW ... PROMOTES HEALTHY BLOOD VESSELS … "

"Prostate health. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the United States and the second-leading cause of cancer death in men after lung cancer. Time pill. Stable levels of prostate-specific antigens (or PSA levels) are critical for men with prostate cancer. Patients with quick PSA doubling times are more likely to die from their cancer. According to a UCLA study of 46 men age 65 to 70 with advanced prostate cancer, drinking an 8 oz glass of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice every day slowed their PSA doubling time by nearly 350%. ... 83% of those who participated in the study showed a significant decrease in their cancer regrowth rate."

"You have to be on pomegranate juice. You have a 50 percent chance of getting [prostate cancer]. Listen to me. It is the one thing that will keep your PSA normal. You have to drink pomegranate juice. There is nothing else we know of that will keep your PSA in check. … It's also 40 percent as effective as Viagra."

The FTC's administrative complaint against POM Wonderful alleges that these claims are false and unsubstantiated:

Clinical studies prove that POM Juice and POMx prevent, reduce the risk of, and treat heart disease, including by decreasing arterial plaque, lowering blood pressure, and improving blood flow to the heart;

Clinical studies prove that POM Juice and POMx prevent, reduce the risk of, and treat prostate cancer, including by prolonging prostate-specific antigen doubling time;

Clinical studies prove that POM Juice prevents, reduces the risk of, and treats, erectile dysfunction.

The FTC complaint alleges that POM Wonderful's heart disease claims are false and unsubstantiated because many of the scientific studies conducted by POM Wonderful did not show heart disease benefit from use of its products. It alleges that the prostate cancer claims are false and unsubstantiated because, among other reasons, the study POM Wonderful relied on was neither "blinded" nor controlled. Finally, it alleges that the erectile dysfunction claims are false and unsubstantiated because the study on which the company relied did not show that POM Juice was any more effective than a placebo.

The complaint sets forth a proposed order that would prevent future law violations by POM Wonderful. In part, the proposed order would require that future claims that any pomegranate-based product cures, prevents, treats, or reduces the risk of any disease not be misleading and comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations for the claim. Although FDA approval of health claims generally is not required for compliance with the FTC Act, the proposed order would require FDA pre-approval before POM Wonderful makes future claims that certain products prevent or treat serious diseases, in order to provide clearer guidance for the company, facilitate POM Wonderful's compliance with the proposed order, and make it easier to enforce. The complaint also proposes to prohibit the respondents from making any other health claim about any food, drug, or dietary supplement without competent and reliable scientific evidence.

In a related case, Mark Dreher, POM Wonderful's former head of scientific and regulatory affairs and expert endorser, has agreed to a settlement that bars him from making any disease treatment or prevention claims in advertising for a POM Wonderful product unless the claim is not misleading and comports with FDA requirements for the claim. The settlement also prohibits Dreher from making other health claims for a food, drug, or dietary supplement for human use without competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the claim. The settlement contains a cooperation clause and reporting provisions to assist the FTC in monitoring compliance with the order.

Copies of the POM Wonderful complaint and notice order, and of the Dreher complaint and consent agreement, are available from the FTC's website at and the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The Dreher consent agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until October 27, 2010, after which the Commission will decide whether to make it final. Written comment should be sent to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To file a public comment electronically, please click on the following hyperlink:

For more information please contact

Friday, September 17, 2010

For Chocolate Lovers - Cocoa DNA Mapping Completed Ahead of Schedule

Cocoa Beans
Mars, Incorporated, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and IBM released the preliminary findings of their breakthrough cacao genome sequence and made it available in the public domain earlier this week. This joint research endeavor is likely to improve the cocoa growing process and represents a successful private/public partnership for the benefit of the world's cocoa farmers, and a more sustainable world cocoa supply.

The preliminary sequencing of the cacao genome is a promising first step in advancing farmers' ability to plant more robust, higher yielding and drought and disease-resistant trees. The results of the research will be made available to the public with permanent access via the Cacao Genome Database ( to ensure that the data remains perpetually open without patent, as well as to allow scientists to begin applying the findings immediately to crop cultivation efforts.

With approximately 6.5 million farmers depending on cocoa for their livelihoods - most of them coming from small, family-run farms, cocoa is a crucial crop for their survival and the economies of their nations. However, cocoa crops have always been plagued by serious global losses from pests and diseases, and to date, there has been very little investment in scientific research to improve the cacao tree.

Decades of Mars research has led to major innovations in the areas of sustainable cocoa farming technology. The company's latest partnership - blending Mars' cocoa expertise, USDA-ARS' extensive experience with other major crops and IBM's technology - is an example of the role business can play in addressing challenging global issues.

The results of this uniquely collaborative project --which were delivered three years early due to Mars' scientific leadership, advances in genome technology and constant real-time collaboration with key partners--mark a significant scientific milestone that is already starting to benefit millions of farmers, particularly in West Africa where more than 70 percent of the world's cocoa crop is produced. By making the results publicly available, scientists will have access to key learnings to advance plant science, while plant breeders and farmers around the world will be able to develop cacao trees that are more sustainable, and can better fend off the environmental assaults that inflict $700 to $800 million in damages to farmers' crops each year. Cocoa has traditionally garnered little agricultural research especially when compared to other crops including corn, wheat and rice and therefore has earned the moniker "the orphan crop."

Mars was the primary funder of the project, investing millions into the research. Other partners in addition to the USDA-ARS Subtropical Horticulture Research Station in Miami, and the Jamie Whitten Research Center in Stoneville, Miss., and IBM, include: Clemson University Genomics Institute; Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture at the University of California-Davis; National Center for Genome Resources; Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics at Indiana University; HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; and Washington State University. Moving forward, the collaboration will continue to analyze and characterize the cocoa genome in preparation for submission to peer-reviewed publications.

For more information, please visit,, or e-mail

Food Fight - POM Wonderful Wins Lawsuit Against Welches Over Pomegranate Juice Claims

A federal court jury in Los Angeles recently found that juice maker Welch's intentionally misled consumers with false and deceptive labeling on its "100% Juice White Grape Pomegranate" product. In reality, each 64oz bottle contains over 63oz of inexpensive apple and white grape filler juices, plus additional color and flavor enhancers. Less than a single ounce per bottle is actually pomegranate juice.

The verdict is the culmination of a nearly two-week trial during which POM Wonderful argued that Welch's misleading labeling was a violation of the Lanham Act, which allows businesses to seek relief from competitors who are engaging in false advertising. POM Wonderful sells 100% pure pomegranate juice.

During the trial, POM successfully demonstrated that the product's labeling, which features large, prominently placed images of pomegranates on the front label, was intentionally designed to trick consumers into believing the product contained a substantial quantity of pomegranate juice.

Throughout the trial, several witnesses testified that they had bought the Welch's product believing it contained large amounts of pomegranate juice. All of these witnesses were seeking the widely documented health giving properties of pomegranate juice. When they learned that the product contained less than one ounce of pomegranate juice in a 64-ounce bottle, they were surprised and felt cheated.

During the initial phase of trial, in which the judge did not permit testimony from POM's damages expert, the jury did not find that POM sustained injury due to the deceptively labeled Welch's product.

For more information, please contact

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall for Fig - Special Feature with Noire Tropical Beauty

Fall for Fig

Fall beckons the warmth of deeper tones for your home, wardrobe and cosmetics routine.  Cook Like Jackie has teamed with Noire Tropical Beauty to highlight some of the best products out there to have your Falling for Fig!

Fall for Fig in Your Kitchen
Emile Henry Flame Cassoulet in Figue
Emile Henry debuted a full line of figue colored pieces to their line including the new 2.5 quart flame cassoulet, a wonderful lightweight yet sturdy pot that is perfect for a variety of slow cooked meat dieshes, sweet cobblers, warm fruit compotes or the traditional french stew for which the pot is named.

Emile Henry Flame® ceramic cookware is the result of a new ceramic technology that can be used on all types of stovetops including gas, electric or halogen models.  The company also offers a special Emile Henry induction disk that can be used for induction stove tops and can withstand extremely high temperatures for searing.  In addition, the pots can also be used in traditional, convection or microwave ovens, as well as on gas or charcoal grills and open fire, making it one of the most versatile lines ever available.  The pots are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.  They are designed to provide gentle even heat distribution to maximize flavors, textures and colors in various dishes.  What is most surprising is that although the flame may appear to be cast iron at first glance, it is roughly 30% lighter in weight resulting in much easier to handle.  The pots are manufactured in France from Burgundy Clay and other natural products and have a generous ten (10) year warranty for household use. 

Cassoulet, a traditional stew from Southwest France, is a slow cooked meal packed with sausage, chicken and white beans. Today, rustic inns and restaurants in every province of France consider this intimate, delightful stew their prized dish. There are many recipes and variations on the ingredients but the traditional Cassoulet stew is cooked in a pot that is shaped slightly like a cone making room for a lot of yummy crust on the top.

Cassoulet Recipe courtesy of Emile Henry

■1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

■2 carrots diced

■2 stalks celery, diced

■1 small yellow oinion, diced

■2 cloves garlic, chopped

■1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced

■1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

■1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

■1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

■2 bay leaves

■1 teaspoon dried thyme

■1/2 teaspoon salt

■1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

■1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)


1. Heat oil in an Emile Henry Cassoulet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for a few minutes to brown. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic; cook and stir for a few minutes, until the onion is transparent.

2. Pour in the kidney beans, cannellini beans and tomatoes, and season with the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.

3. Remove bay leaves and discard. Sprinkle parsley over the top, and serve.

Fig Facts
Fig (English), Higo (Spanish), Figue (French), Feige (German), Fico (Italian)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fall Coffee Preview - DeLonghi Provides Updates on Design and Pricing for its Superautomatic Espresso Machines

DeLonghi will update some machines in its fall line of espresso machines to include the launch of the new Magnifica S in its super automatic espresso line which incorporates its patented Direct-to-Brew system that grinds beans fresh for each cup of coffee, an integrated conical burr grinder and a single boiler system with Rapid Cappuccino function that pumps cold water around the boiler to decrease the waiting time between espresso and cappucino.  This unit will be slightly higher than the introductory Magnifica which retails for $899.  The Magnifica S will retail for US $999.95 with availability in September at fine retailers.

The company has also redesigned its Magnifica Digital with a more streamlined look,

New Jura Capresso Impressa Models

Jura-Capresso has launched two new automatic coffee centers including the Jura IMPRESSA Z7 and the IMPRESSA J6.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fall Coffee Preview - French Press Style

The French Press market has become pretty crowded lately with a number of design updates to this most utilitarian of coffee-related housewares.  The technology behind the french press is simple, place coffee bean in water to steep with the help of a plunger and you are able to make coffee that is not scalded by boiling hot water. 

Bodum Chambord French Press
BODUM earlier this year introduced the French Press Ice Coffee Maker and added Chrome and Gold to its line of CHAMBORD french presses.  Adding a bit of spunk to the design, the company has also launched the EILEEN, a french press originally created in to honor the avant-garde furniture designer and architect Eileen Grey.  Using geometric forms, the collection pays homage to her signature style.  Eileen French Press retails for US $29.95,

Fall Coffee Preview - MyPressi Twist Debuts New Color Just in Time for the Holidays

I first had a chance to see the MyPressi twist in action at the Housewares Show earlier this year.  I enjoyed a wonderful rooibos cappucino and was hooked.  The company provided me with a demo unit which at first glance appeared to be quite complicated, but once the unit was assembled I was set.  The directions could be a bit clearer, and those with little knowledge of common espresso terms like single and double-wall or tamping may want to increase their knowledge before investing in one.  The air cartridges are especially atractive as it makes the unit independent of electricity, and with the nice velvet carry case, one can take it to a party with them and bring espresso as their "dish".  The company is launching a vibrant red just in time for the holidays.  Priced at US $199