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Ultra-processed vs. minimally-processed – The debate continues

CHICAGO – The Institute of Food Technologists’ IFT FIRST in-person annual convention took place July 10-13 after a two-year pandemic hiatus. The education program commenced with a debate centered around, “Should we eat more processed foods?”

On the pro-processed foods side, Amy Webb, a quantitative futurist and founder of the Future Today Institute, New York, cautioned against the use of labels, including food classification systems such as Nova, which was developed by School of Public Health at the University of Säo Paulo in Brazil where it is currently in use. The system classifies foods into four groups according to their level of industrial processing, from unprocessed/minimally processed to ultra-processed. 

“Words matter,” Ms. Webb said. “We are in logical overload. Our brains crave order so we default to labels. Labels validate our cherished beliefs, even if the beliefs are wrong.”

That “wrong” was…

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