Today I was browsing Whole Foods for a few items (we are slowly moving away from Whole Foods as we find local and more economical versions of their goods). While there I couldn’t help but notice the heap of ORGANIC junk food I saw. I guess these types of products have been around a while, after all, one year ago when I got started here, I was also buying gluten-free Gorilla Munch and Annie’s Bunny Cereals. I didn’t really care about the sugar content or the ingredient list at that point because I was desperate to get gluten-free goods. We’re all on our own level of this real food quest. However…
In Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution season finale, there was a mom that spoke up at one of his events. This lady’s statement keeps coming back to me – “we stopped buying (blank) and started buying everything organic”. In her defense who knows what that means, but all I could think of is the moms of America getting the idea that real food means organic sugar bunnies and…PopTarts.
Then I was reading Parents magazine, and I came across this ad for…PopTarts. It marketed the “fruit” aspect of the tart by displaying the 3 fruit flavors of the tarts: strawberry, blueberry, and new grape. It said, “PopTarts are made with real fruit!” Then of course it had a little star directing you to the fine print on the bottom that said, “less than 10% fruit”. The whole ad made me so sick that I actually had to laugh out loud. I found this ad manipulative and offensive. It’s an assault on the word fruit and offensive to all the brainless Moms who Kellog’s thinks they are fooling. Don’t believe me that PopTarts are pure junk? Look at the ingredients in this strawberry beauty:
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, ENRICHED FLOUR this means bleached white flour(WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL (WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), POLYDEXTROSE, SUGAR, DEXTROSE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, CORN SYRUP ( just in case the high fructose wasn’t enough sweet) WHOLE GRAIN BARLEY FLOUR, GLYCERIN, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF INULIN FROM CHICORY ROOT, WHEAT STARCH, SALT, DRIED STRAWBERRIES, DRIED PEARS, DRIED APPLES, CORNSTARCH, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, GELATIN, CARAMEL COLOR, SOY LECITHIN, XANTHAN GUM, MODIFIED WHEAT STARCH, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, NIACINAMIDE, RED #40, REDUCED IRON, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), YELLOW #6, RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), FOLIC ACID.
The reason I am bashing on PopTarts is to set an example. There are a lot of fancy words out there on a ton of seemingly healthy products. For example, on this tart box alone it says, “one serving of whole grain” and “20% daily fiber” and “5 g. total fat per serving”. If you look at the nutrition label you will see it has no trans fats, no cholesterol, 5 g. of dietary fiber and even 2 g. of protein! Surely it is good to eat. Wrong. Look at the ingredient list, not the nutrition facts. That is the #1 rule I shop by. The Nutrition Information is based on a system (Jaime Oliver talks about this.) that tells you to eat 6-11 serving a day of grains and get even fatter oh no! Methinks someone is trying to promote their agricultural products…
Look at the ingredient list. If it’s very long, that’s your first clue it’s junk. If there is high fructose corn syrup, it’s likely junk. If it says enriched flour, it’s junk. This means white bleached flour that has been stripped of all naturally occurring vitamins because of processing that is later supplemented with synthetic vitamins. Also, anytime you see corn syrup and soybean (in this case oil) they are GMO‘s. If you ever see hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, those are the famous TRANS FATS = junk, junk, junk.
Once again, it is not my purpose to make you feel bad about eating your PopTarts. Like I said before, we are all in our own stage in life. I understand that and don’t judge you. But take baby steps when you can to feed yourself and the ones you love food that gives you energy, food that makes your body work better, foods that increase your immunity, foods that you can be proud of – REAL FOODS.