Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Snarky's top 5 food label pet peeves

Here are my top 5 word you find on food labels to fool you into thinking it's "healthy":

1. Natural
"Natural flavorings" is a popular name for MSG

2. Organic
I'm still waiting for them to come out organic candy canes this Christmas. Just wait.

3. Contains real (juice, fruit, etc)
Usually found in fruit flavored products. Which makes you wonder what else is in there.

4. 0% trans fats
I have yet to see a package with this title which doesn't list partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on the ingredient list. It all boils down to what percentage they can legally call 0%. Don't you just love the FDA?

5. Contains no... (major ingredient you would expect in said food.)
Which brings us back to #3. So what the hell is in it anyway? Is it really any better than the missing ingredient?

Which takes us to the moral of the story. Instead of reading the advertising, turn the package over and look at the list of ingredients. How many words are unpronounceable? How many grams of sugar per serving? (30 g = 10 teaspoons of sugar) And of course, does a serving in any way reflect how much you will eat at once?

Bonus fact: Just because you bought it at Whole Foods doesn't mean it's good for you. Sorry.


Melissa said...

I heard "natural flavoring" often refers to animal bone broth or something like that … which in my mind would be better than MSG, how is that shit even approaching natural?

I don't understand why they're not required to say what "natural flavoring" is. Some people have allergies to MSG.

The Snarky Nutritionist said...

MSG is formed when meat or dairy products are "hydrolyzed". When it occurs as a byproduct of another process, it does not have to be included on the list of ingredients. MSG is a modified form glutamic acid, an amino acid that acts as a building block for tissue in our body. It also serves as fuel for the brain. Hence why MSG is "stimulating."
Learn more about MSG and labeling here:http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html