Srsly, why on earth do we trust a company’s packaging (that is, by the by, trying to sell us something), when it comes to our health? Are these companies run by doctors and impartial nutritionists? I’m guilty of buying things because I look at the package and go “ooo, this will lower my cholesterol. Score!”
“We’re working with the FDA and the food industry to make our food labels more customer-friendly,” Obama said Wednesday, “so that parents don’t have to squint at words they can’t even pronounce, to figure out which foods are healthy and which ones just claim to be.”
Across the entire food industry, bold health-related claims are now commonplace, and for good reason: They really can boost sales. When General Mills showcased a cholesterol-lowering message on boxes of Cheerios, for instance, sales grew smartly.
But critics argue that marketing zeal has overrun good nutrition, food science and even common sense in a world where candy and sugary drinks now brag about healthful qualities.
Critics aren’t so reticent. This month, the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a report scolding makers of 60 consumer products — including industry leaders Kraft, Kellogg’s, Hershey, Con Agra, Campbell and Coca-Cola — for questionable claims or key omissions on packages.
The center also cited General Mills’ Green Giant for selling frozen vegetables called “Immunity Blend.” Its packaging is coupled with a bold message of breast cancer awareness.
“Now, vegetables are healthy, but the company doesn’t seem to want to sell the product on the grounds that it’s healthy,” the watchdog group’s Silverglade said. “They want to cross the line and imply that it can help reduce your risk of cancer, and that’s not true.”
General Mills declined to comment beyond saying its products are “appropriately labeled.”
Resolved: do not buy any product that makes a health claim in an attempt to sell it to me. Yet another reason to buy whole ingredients and make things for yourself.
Which tangentially leads me to the banana diet. I’m going to have to find some other banana brand, or at least shop someplace that doesn’t include Dole Banana Diet pamphlets plastered all over the banana display.
I do love bananas, and have started eating 1 or 2 each day, but as resolved, I’m not going to be getting my health information from the food lobby any longer.