Food Marketers Are Masters Of Misdirection Cheetos 7up and Count Chocula
Lost in Translation: The Masters of Deceit:
Food marketers are masters of misdirection. They boldly tout the positive qualities of their products, in order to cleverly downplay the negative. The result? Consumers are often left believing a food is healthy when it’s anything but. Here’s how to read into three of Big Food’s most popular claims.
Count Chocula cereal, The Claim: “Made with whole grains“
What it means is at least 51 percent of the flour it’s made with is from a whole-grain source, but the rest of the flour can come from refined grains, and probably does. If it’s really “100% Whole Grain,” it’ll say so on the package. Check the ingredient list: Any flour that doesn’t start with the word “whole” isn’t. And remember, ingredients are listed in descending order of the amount used.
Cheetos, The Claim: “0 grams trans fat“
What it means: It contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving – so it’s not necessarily trans-fat-free. The dead giveaway? The words “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredient list. Granted, half a gram is a tiny amount, but don’t assume the product is healthy: It could still be packed with large quantities of other fats and sugar.
7-up soda, The Claim: “100% Natural“
What it means: Nothing. The FDA doesn’t have a definition for this claim. Case point: 7up now boasts that it’s made with 100% natural ingredients. That’s because they’ve switched from carbonated water to filtered water, citric acid to natural citric acid, and calcium dis-odium EDT to natural potassium citrate. Got it? Here’s the kicker: The soft drink is still sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, which can’t be made without the help of a centrifuge.
Good rule of thumb, foods which are highly processed have some many chemicals, names I can’t pronounce, and processes to create them it’s a safe bet they can not honestly brag about being 100% good for you.
Stealth Health Food: “Baby Artichokes”
Why: USDA scientists found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable they tested. And the egg-size baby version allows you to eat nearly the entire artichoke heart and leaves as you would a piece of broccoli.
Where: In the produce sections of higher-end grocery stores; usually in shrink-wrapped packaging.
How: For each baby artichoke, cut the stem off at the base, peel off petals until you reach the yellow ones, and cut off the top one-third. As you prepare each artichoke, drop it into a bowl of water with 2 Tbsp lemon juice to prevent browning. Then, in a large skillet, heat the artichokes and 1 c chicken broth to boiling, cover, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the broth and place the artichokes in a bowl. In the same skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Return the artichokes to the skillet, along with 1 tsp minced garlic. Cook and stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper.