The Top 5 Lies Of The Food Industry
If you didn’t know that you are being lied to everyday by marketing companies you need to wake up and smell the coffee,… or is it even coffee you’d be smelling?. The food industry in particular has had its marketing department lying to us for years with some pretty outrageous and blatant claims. If the following are the ones we know about, what else are they lying about? Kind of makes you want to dig a garden in your backyard and be done with them all.
Lie # 1
Milk has been touted as essential to strong and healthy bones but did you know that the calcium delivered in a glass of milk is not that much greater than what you would find in a 1/2 cup of tofu? Humans are the only species on the planet that drink milk after we are infants and is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood.. Milk has also been sold to us as 2% for decades describing the fat content but this is where they are masking the truth. The truth is that milk has closer to 30% fat and they are simply adding water to the measured volume to come up with the 2% number. Next time you have some milk read the caloric breakdown of 1 8oz glass and you will clearly see that over 30% of the calories are from fat alone. I’m not saying that milk is all that bad and I personally love it and will never give it up. I do however make conscious changes to my diet with this knowledge and drink it in moderation.
Lie # 2
Fat Free is a term that gained popularity in the 80s and is still prevalent today. Did you know that this term was trademarked to have a specific definition? This definition states that to be considered fat free a food item must have a serving size of less than 0.5 grams. The key point to remember is that the serving size must have less than 0.5 grams and since serving size is completely left to the companies discretion they can alter the serving size to accommodate a fat content of under 0.5 grams. A perfect example of this is “Fat Free” cooking spray. Here you have an item that when in a bottle is 100% pure fat but when put in an aerosol can magically becomes fat free. This is achieved by attaching a serving size of less than 0.4 seconds! The next time you use a cooking spray see if you can even tap the nozzle that fast. Again I am not saying that olive oil for instance is bad but what I am saying is that close to 100 calories a tablespoon you need to be very careful of how much you are having if you hope to lose unwanted body fat. The same person who would carefully add oil to their salad or frying pan may spray their food like they’re painting their lawn furniture.
Lie # 3
I first noticed this definition in a Starbucks nutritional information brochure. Perplexed I called the customer service number and asked what this meant. She told me that if you add up the protein and the fat and subtract it from the total carbs you are left with the net carbs. Still wondering why this is relevant and what this is supposed to tell me she could not give me a straight answer. I told her that it was ridiculous and she agreed with me but said it is what she is told to say. The other spin on the carb war is to call something carb free when it contains no regular sugar carbs, such as, glucose, dextrose or fructose, but may still contain sugar alcohols that are not technically considered a sugar but still react in your body close to the way regular sugar does. Sugar alcohol may be better for you in terms of dieting as it will not spike your insulin as ,much but still be aware that it does raise blood sugar levels and the over all health benefits may be worse.
Everyone is worried today about all the chemicals found in food and they should be. So what we have seen is the rapid rise in organic food practices and stores selling the greenest stuff on the planet. The problem with organic is that it is very expensive and many times unnecessary and poorly controlled. The label of “organic” from the food processors side is very strict and requires a lot of time and money to stay certified. We often hear that one of the problems people face when trying to improve their health and fitness is that it is very expensive to eat clean. I recommend being smarter with your purchases and choose organic only when it has an impactful difference and thereby enabling you to stretch your dollar further on healthy whole foods and eat clean for a longer period of time. Besides a lot of organic products are not truly organic. If a farmer sprays his field and the one next to it is certified organic, is it really still organic?
Most companies are labeling products as “blueberry” when really they are actually just making something that only looks and somewhat tastes like blueberries – made up of starches, sugars, hydrogenated oils and food dye, namely Blue #5. Some Fake blueberry warning signs:
- Know you are getting very little if “blueberry” is far down on the list of ingredients.
- Blue #5 dyes is NOT required if it is a real blueberry.
- Any other word used to describe a blueberry like “cluster,” “bit,” or “crunchlet” is a marketers attempt at B.S.
Why would a company do that? The obvious answer is usually the most common one… money. It is much cheaper to sell you Blue #5 than it is to actually grow and pick these tiny berries.