Chris' Corner: Deceptive Food Labeling Making it harder to make good choices?

Deceptive Food Labeling Making it harder to make good choices?

Are you interested in making healthier choices in the food you purchase?

Food Marketing is reaching new levels of deception. Terms like "healthy", "high in fibre", "smart choice" require relatively low levels of nutrition. Though the packaging and labeling might initially attract your attention, before you choose a product, look carefully at the list of ingredients. Ingredients must be included in order of proportion. When looking at a product packaged to indicate that it is a "healthier choice", ensure that the healthy ingredients are at the top of the ingredient list.

A supposed healthy, high-fibre breakfast cereal with ingredients: refined or bleached flour, sugar, ... whole grains, might contain the 4 grams per serving of fibre needed to qualify as high fibre, but is of questionable health value overall...

I was surprised to confirm that Kraft Light Penaut Butter contained corn dextrin, sugar, and hydrogenated vegetable oil, 2,3, and 5 in it's list of ingredients. Compare that to the no-name Peanut Butter sold in Walmart (some grocers and/or bulk food stores allow you to make fresh peanut butter from peanuts, and nothing else - though it might not last as long in your cupboard, do you want to guess which would probably be the healthier choice?) and you might find how important it is to read beyond the packaging and labeling down to the list of ingredients. I do not want to initiate a debate over the relative worth of maltodextrins here, but want you to be aware of, educate your self, and make a good choice for you and your family.

Another good rule of thumb to help steer you clear of the misinformation prevalent in modern labeling. Consider the source of the nutrients. Give credit to products where the source of the nutrients are whole or unprocessed fruits and vegetables over those products whose nutrients originate from man-made sources.

There are many healthy choices out there, you just have to look beyond the glitz and the packaging!

Happy and Healthy shopping!!

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

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Comment balloon 12 commentsChris Smith • July 24 2011 07:08PM

Comments

Thanks for educating us Chris - the labeling of foods IS absolutely outrageous.  I don't know how they can get away with making the claim that so many foods are "healthy" when the ingredients list clearly states otherwise .... you're right, buyer beware. 

Posted by Karen Bernetti over 9 years ago

Hi Chris~ Packaging is quite deceptive! There are groups who fight for better labeling on the food we buy. In the mean time, I have found my best choices are FRESH!

Best regards from Seattle,

Posted by Judi Boad (ACCURATE REALTY GROUP) over 9 years ago

Karen, my wife was surprised that food labeled as "smart" and "healthy" with government approved labeling could have such poor content.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Judi, fresh is best =)

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Chris, the subject of your post has been on my mind for a long while.  It's all very deceptive and bottom line...you have to take responsibility for your purchase...you have to do your own homework because it's apparent that government and big cooperation's are not necessarily looking out for your best interest...just the bottom line.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) over 9 years ago

Chris, You just really do not know anymore and like Nick said, the big corporations do not seem to care. Another reason to grow your own food if you can, then you are 'in the know'! Great post!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Chris,

Real fruits and real vegetables make a lot of sense. I have to admit that I never read the labels.

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 9 years ago

Chris - I read food labels on a regular basis.  I think that labelling needs to be improved in many areas to provide better information.

Posted by FN LN over 9 years ago

Nick, the same issues that plague food marketing also apply to the whole "green" campaign... marketers are taking advantage of people in society who are trying to do the right thing.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Wanda, more and more we are buying direct from the grower, the next step would be to grow more of our own, like you do.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Brian, I want to know whether the fruits or vegetables I am buying are genetically engineered and what is the impact to me and my family.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Marc, you are in the minority.  Most people are fooled by packaging and marketing.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

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