Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Six Meaningless Food Advertising Labels
The more involved you become with Clean Eating, the more sensitive you become to advertising tricks and techniques the big companies use to entice shoppers. Reading labels is crucial to Clean Eating; there is a certain level of "produced elsewhere" food that is almost necessary by default for people in America today; few of us can raise our own chickens, have an expansive garden to grow vegetables, and have an orchard at our disposal. Reading and understanding labels is an integral part of Clean Eating.
The following 6 psuedo-healthy food labels are actually meaningless, and when you see them liberally splashed across a package of food - you should question what you are eating.
Lightly-sweetened: Cereal packages often contain the phrase “lightly sweetened” to suggest less sugar. The Food and Drug Administration has regulations concerning the use of “sugar free” and “no added sugars” but nothing governing the claims “low sugar” or “lightly sweetened.” “Whether Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size is lightly sweetened should be determined by federal rules, not the marketing executives of a manufacturer,” says the C.S.P.I. report.
A good source of fiber: A number of food marketers now claim their products are a good source of fiber, but often the fiber doesn’t come from traditional sources — whole grains, bean, vegetables or fruit — known to have health benefits. Instead, food makers are adding something called “isolated fibers” made from chicory root or purified powders of polydextrose and other substances that haven’t been shown to lower blood sugar or cholesterol.
Strengthens your immune system: Through “clever wordsmithing,” food companies can skirt F.D.A. rules about health claims and give consumers the impression that a product will ward off disease. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice claims to “strengthen your immune system with a daily dose of vitamin C.” Green Giant offers an “immunity blend” of frozen vegetables. Nestle’s Carnation Instant Breakfast says it contains “Antioxidants to help support the immune system.”
Made with real fruit: Often the “real fruit” is found in small quantities and isn’t even the same kind of fruit pictured on the package. Tropical fruit flavored Gerber Graduates Fruit Juice Treats show pictures of fresh oranges and pineapple. But the main ingredients are corn syrup, sugar and white grape juice concentrate. Betty Crocker’s Strawberry Splash Fruit Gushers don’t contain strawberries — just pear concentrate.
Made with whole grains: Many products make a whole grain claim even though they often contain refined flour as the first ingredient and the amount of whole grains are minimal. Packages of Keebler’s Townhouse Bistro Multigrain Crackers boast they are made with “toasted whole wheat,” but the ingredient label shows the crackers contain more sugar than whole wheat.
All natural. Although the F.D.A. has issued several warning letters to firms making misleading “all natural” claims, the agency has never issued formal rules about the term, As a result, some products containing high fructose corn syrup claim to be “all natural.” One example is Minute Maid Premium All Natural Flavors Berry Punch. “Though glucose and fructose certainly occur in nature, the chemical conversions of cornstarch should not be considered natural,”
Thank you, New York Times