Sunday, November 01, 2015

We need honesty and clarity from the food industry

I have a growing amount of respect for my compatriot, Jamie Oliver, who gave an interview on Canadian radio earlier this week: in which he said that: "I believe, passionately, that people ... make good choices when they have clarity; and business and money and marketing ... it's murky...". The processed food industry is a $1 trillion business with unimaginable political muscle, able to buy off lawmakers at will. We need people's champions, like Jamie Oliver, to stand up for us, the consumers, and advocate for change.

One area that MUST be changed is food labeling. It has to be easier for consumers to recognize the HUGE amounts of added sugar in processed foods. Requiring that sugar to be expressed in terms of teaspoons instead of grams would be a good start. Then, your can of cola which has 40 grams of added sugar can be seen to have 10 teaspoons of white death. Much more easily recognized, even by people who don't know what a gram is! That healthy granola bar with 12 grams of added sugar, that's three teaspoons! Does three teaspoons of sugar sound that healthy to you!

Another thing that has to change is the recommended serving sizes printed on packages. Just for fun, I filled my breakfast bowl this morning with what I thought was a reasonable amount of a high fiber cereal. It was 1½ cups. Then I measured it and compared it to the nutritional label's recommended serving size.
Unrealistic serving size
What! ½ cup is totally unrealistic. So, instead of just 100 calories (including the milk), I've eaten 300 calories. At least I got 42 grams of fiber though, right? Serving sizes for drinks are the worst. They are all based on an 8 ounce cup, which babies and young children might drink. In the real world, adults drink from glasses that are 14 to 16 ounces large. If you have a tall glass of real orange juice, now you're consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar (40 grams) instead of just five.

And, please, don't buy Sunny D for your kids. 98% of it is water and evil High Fructose Corn Syrup, 2% is all the other chemical stuff (like; thiamin hydrochloride, natural flavors, modified food starch, canola oil, sodium citrate, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium benzoate, yellow 5, and yellow 6). A small 8 ounce serving of Sunny D contains 27 grams of sugar (6½ teaspoons), and that sugar is from the HFCS, not fruit juice. So, Junior's big glass will have 13 teaspoons of sugar in it!

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