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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Health food (not)

I was cleaning out my images "temp" file yesterday and found a series of photos I'd taken months ago while working at my local video rental store. They were intended for a tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic blog entry that never quite happened. I made a note to resurrect them soon.

And then within the next twelve hours I stumbled across (I swear, I wasn't looking!) two news articles about, well, the same topic. So now I'm current. Here ya go.

These folks said it better. And this guy said it funnier. As for me, I'll just let the labels speak for themselves. Go ahead, trust the claims. You'll be fine. In fact, you'll be HEALTHY! All of the following are claims printed on candy wrappers.

Twizzlers

Swedish Fish. Fat free? Many real fish can't claim that!

Neon "Squorms" Let me repeat...NEON. That sounds good.

One of my favorites--it controls the portions for you, you helpless glutton! Even better, these little bags of gummy candies are advertised as "Sack Lunch". I shudder to think of the thoughtless parent who might mistake these for Lunchables...

"Rips", a fruit-flavored, sugar-dusted licorice candy.

Rasinets. OMG it's *this close* to being "part of a nutritious breakfast". LOL

Lemonheads. Fat Free? Load me up!

See? The Lemonheads are natural!

Low in fat, and full of tradition. Junior Mints.

Goobers. Hey, my doc said to get more protein. Wonder how many boxes I should eat?

This is my favorite. Why? Because it's on cotton candy. COTTON CANDY, people. Of course it is free of all of those things. It's two ingredients: sugar and food coloring. If you are surprised or delighted to learn that it imparts no fat, cholesterol, or sodium, you need a refresher in chemistry or cooking classes. If you are buying this item because you are concerned about limiting your fat/cholesterol/sodium intake, you need a personal dietitian and a kick to the head. I'm just sayin'.

And honorable mention. Because if you are waffling at the candy rack next to the checkout at the video store, I'm sure the large claims about calories per lollipop are going to sway you. It may be me, but if I were going to go into a panic about the calorie count of my candy, I wouldn't be eating...candy.

Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-candy. It's only 4 days past Halloween and it's still a "sure, why not" free-for-all around here. What I am against, however, is misleading advertising and the notion that there are people out there who are willing (or able) to be duped by it. Let's keep a little perspective, a little honesty, and the ability to flip the package over and read the list of ingredients instead of the advertising.

2 comments:

  1. the government here has gotten really strict about claims like that. I always thought it was silly- but some people really are just that stupid and gullible. Its sad.

    My absolute favorite claim on these things isn't on candy- its that freakin' spray butter. "No calories!"- what's funny is, the rules are in the US, if the number of calories per recommended serving are less than one, you get to slap "0 calories" on it. Diet soda, for example, says it has 0 calories in the US. Come over here, and the label says less than 1 calorie per 100 ml. But the spray bottle- I remember when that stuff was new, I read an article about it, and it said to avoid the stuff and just use real butter- you will end up with less calories- because spray butter has almost no calories for their recommendation of 2 squirts- but in order to give your food any flavor, people use WAY more, and the calorie count gets ridiculous. My mom does the most DISGUSTING thing with that stuff. She makes a bowl of instant cream of wheat, and dumps like HALF a bottle of spray butter into it. I almost ralphed the first time I saw her do that. Ewww. Seriously people- a LITTLE butter is not going to kill you. Doing it all the time is another story. Its funny how the word MODERATION is lost on so many people.

    Sorry- I am ranting now!!

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  2. We cook with real food at our house - fresh fruits and vegetables, dried beans, whole milk, and yes, real butter. I feel sad for people (like my mother) who spend a lot of time and energy counting calories and tallying food points and stuff like that. Funny thing, I just make food and eat, and I don't obsess on food or desire candy or any of that stuff. Probably because I don't place restrictions on myself.

    I don't tend to like packaged, process foods - like the aforementioned spray butter or any of those hideous "low / no fat" dressings. You look on the labels of what's in that stuff and think, Do I really want to put this into my body?

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