Friday, January 29, 2010

Read Your Labels!

I bought a bottle of ketchup last week at my local Big Y supermarket. Ketchup is one of those things that just always seems to be in the house. I don't think about it much, and since I don't use much of it, I don't buy it very often. I like a little with eggs or on a salmon patty or veggie burger.

Since it didn't seem like a big deal at the time, I didn't spend a lot of time in front of the ketchup shelf at the store studying all the labels. The house brand was a little cheaper and in big letters on the front label it said: "ALL NATURAL!" Hey, good enuf for me!

Back at home, my dear wife said, "You know, that stuff is loaded with corn syrup." Me: "No way! It clearly says ALL NATURAL!" Sure enough, on the back, right after water and tomatoes (Or was it before tomatoes?), it said one of the major ingredients was "High Fructose Corn Syrup."

Do we really live in a world where a company can proudly proclaim that high fructose corn syrup is "all natural"? I went on the Big Y website and sent them a comment that I thought their label was misleading if not downright dishonest.

I haven't heard back.

4 comments:

SimplyTim said...

Mojoman,

The whole system is a rigged game. Take a look at kindredofthequietway.blogspot.com for dramatic down the road consequences of accumulating too much "junk" in the system. I also put a comment there.

Tim

robin andrea said...

I always read the labels, especially on mass-produced bottled and packaged things, and now even on EGGS! AlterNet had an article the other day that said even cartons that boast Cage Free or Organic, could merely mean that the chickens were raised in giant factories simply without cages. Now we have to look for eggs cartons that say, "Certified Humane" or "Animal Welfare Approved." It's a wild world, and the corporations know what we want. That's why they usurp the language.

MojoMan said...

Tim, thanks for the tip on "Kindered." There's interesting stuff there. Those close to me are getting sick of my cynicism, but I come by it honestly.

robin andrea, I don't believe much of anything corporate these days. I now buy all my eggs from a guy with a few hens just down the road. Right after I started buying them there, I saw a big expose' on TV about how the big egg farms that supply our local supermarkets abuse their birds terribly.

Paul said...

MM, I'm reading a book by Daniel Gilbert titled "Stumbling on Happiness". It's interesting in part for his references to economics and psychology and the way our decisions are subtly affected. For the last few years I've been convinced we are amateurs consuming in a world controlled by professional economists. A recent news article told of some major food stores that are reducing the number of items on the shelf by several thousand. They have learned we are confused by too many choices and may buy nothing. By reducing the choices we are more likely to spend our money. Labels, the layout of stores, advertising -- it seems like much of it has crossed some ethical line.