Food labels: When does "All" or 100% not mean ALL?

food and nutrition, happy body

I suppose, by this point, I should have learned to be totally cynical and untrusting, even when it comes to my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s. But every day, I learn new and disappointing things by reading labels a bit more carefully.

For instance, how about “100% Juice”? You’d guess that it’s made up of juice, juice, and juice, right? Nope. How about water, reconstituted juices, and “natural flavorings”? What, exactly, are the natural flavorings? Who knows, ’cause this label sure isn’t telling.

And while we’re talking about juices, when you see a label that trumpets in large type “Blueberry Juice”… does it seem very honest to you that blueberry juice is the third most prominent ingredient, after apple and grape? Truth in labeling would dictate: “Apple ‘n’ Grape juice, with a splash of blueberry,” but, yeah, truth in labeling? Ha!

Or how about “All Butter” shortbread cookies? Sure, butter is indeed one of the ingredients, but — what’s this? — “partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil”? That’s like saying, “A RUSTY knife thrust into your chest” and, while butter ain’t exactly saintly healthwise itself, there are few food ingredients less healthy in the world than partially hydrogenated oils, and particularly palm or coconut oils. Might as well say “cement for hardening your arteries.” And this isn’t even taking into account the fact that a small helping of four of these tiny cookies = 260 calories, with about 50% of calories from fat (and more than half of THAT is saturated). Ugh! While “All-butter” conjures up visions of Grandma making not-necessarily-healthful but at least decadently delicious and honest desserts, this package should instead picture a cardiac arrest unit on the front.

1 comment… add one
  • Mary Oct 29, 2007

    Unless the products are FDA regulated, there are very loose restrictions on labels. What’s even worse is that most supplements dont fall under FDA guidelines. These substances are much more dangerous and harmful then not having 100% juice.

    Mary

What do you think?