Insane new food labels

The food industry has hit a deceptive new low with its latest marketing scheme.
It’s called “Smart Choices,” and I can tell you everything you need to know about it in one sentence: Under this food industry-funded program, Froot Loops cereal and Fudgesicle ice pops are considered “Smart Choices.”

Foods that are approved for it get a shiny new label with a great big checkmark – as if they’ve passed some tremendous test. Truth is, the real check here is the one the manufacturer has to write for the privilege of using this deceitful logo – up to $100,000.

Once the check clears, the only real test seems to be whether or not there’s a food out there that’s less healthy than the one you’re selling. Even the head of this campaign had to use some pretty bizarre logic to defend it.

“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Eileen Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board, told the New York Times. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”

A better choice than a doughnut? Let me tell you something – if you’re choosing between a sugar-loaded cereal and a box of doughnuts for breakfast, you need a lot more help than any new package label can give you.

I’m no psychic, but I’ll also go out on a limb here and predict there’s a hospital visit in your future.

The brains behind “Smart Choices” must think the rest of us are dummies – but you know better. Use a little common sense in the supermarket, stick to fresh meat and vegetables, and your choices will be a lot smarter than anything with a slick new label.

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Posted: 10/31/2009 at 04:31 PM
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Posted: 10/31/2009 at 04:31 PM
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