Of the 600,000 food products sold in U.S. supermarkets, 80% have added sugar. By 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes. Those are just a few of the sobering soundbites from Fed Up, a new film from Katie Couric, Laurie David (producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and director Stephanie Soechtig that opened Friday. Bon Appétit is proud to support this powerful film, which promises to change the conversation about diet and exercise in America. (Watch trailer or Couric on the Daily Show, or read the Rolling Stone review.)
Today, the Bon Appétit Management Company teams at more than 20 corporate cafés that we operate for Adobe, Medtronic, SAP, SAS, and several other health-minded employers kicked off the Fed Up Challenge: 10 days without any added sugars. As Couric explained on Good Morning America, that’s 10 days without not only dessert, but any foods containing sugar, honey, molasses, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, or the 56 other names that sugar hides under. The idea is to become aware of how the sweet stuff affects your health, which means no artificial sweeteners (such as Equal or aspartame, which research shows affect your brain in similar ways to the real stuff) and no “liquid sugars,” i.e. soda, sports drinks, or even fruit juice.
To make taking the Challenge a little easier for our guests, the participating Bon Appétit cafés are offering 100% unsweetened breakfast and lunch items as well as beverages and desserts all this week. Instead of sliced bread, which usually contains added sugars, the sandwich option might be a corn tortilla wrap. For a treat, fresh stone fruit with house-whipped cream. At Jones Farm 5 Café, for example, we’ve tackled Southern food, which can tend to be on the sweet side. The featured entree for today at the “At Home” station was a buttermilk fried chicken (which is many recipes contains sugar in the batter, but not this one!) served with sweet corn on the cob and roasted fingerling potatoes with garlic confit.
Starting last Friday, we’ve also been giving away tickets to see the movie. Here’s Medtronic employee Mary Kne, who won a pair of tickets to see the film in Minneapolis. Mary emailed this morning that “a friend of mine and I went to Fed Up on Saturday. It was great! Lots of interesting information and motivation! The movie motivated me to do the FedUp Challenge this week.”
For those not lucky enough to have Bon Appétit chefs cooking breakfast and lunch for you this week, the film’s Fed Up Challenge page offers many resources and tips. Sadly, that deprived group includes this director of communications — I’m just too far from a participating café — but I am undeterred.
I’ll be blogging about taking the Challenge here. Join me!