16 November 2007


I'd like to turn our attention from theatre and kittens, for a moment, to rant about something entirely different: food. These two examples of manipulation and stupidity recently caught my eye, and I'd like to share my rage.

First, on how the government is screwing us all. I don't remember which health/food blog I found this through Via stumptuous I found this incredibly disturbing article. The centerpiece of which is an incredibly disturbing chart:

Now I'm not saying that the government's pyramid is anything anyone should be following. But still. That teeny little point of 0.37% of subsidies for fruits and vegetables is obscene. Food subsidies in general are all sorts of effed up, but if you're going to have them, I dunno, have them for healthy foods? Crazy, sorry, I know.

Second is a story I uncovered all by myself in the aisles of Duane Reade. I went in for hand lotion, and naturally took a quick spin through the newly fancified food aisles. I was looking at the new displays of chocolate bars (I don't know why, since nothing is as delicious or reasonably priced as the Whole Foods house brand dark chocolate.), and I saw this:

I know that small print's too small to read, so let's let Hershey's tell us what makes this bar so special:

Hershey's Whole Bean Chocolate is made using the whole cocoa bean to yield a mildly sweet and smooth chocolate that is lower in sugar (40 percent less than the leading milk chocolate bar) and high in fiber and antioxidants. One serving of Hershey's Whole Bean Chocolate has seven grams of fiber and 180 mg of flavanol antioxidants per 40 gram serving.

Well that sounds reasonably nice. As it is, good dark chocolate (as in free of random crap and artificial flavorings) is, like, the most-good-for-you and least-bad-for-you treat-type foods around. (A small dark chocolate habit does wonders keeping one's hands, hypothetically, out of one's office's hypothetical M&M dispenser, let me tell you.) And if whole grains are better than not-whole grains, surely Hershey's must be doing us a favor - look how much healthier this whole bean chocolate is!

But then you flip the bar over and read the ingredients (which are, oddly, not to be found anywhere online!) and suddenly...

It's lower-sugar because it's sweetened with sucralose, and it's higher-fiber because there's added inulin. Sucralose, as in Splenda, as in artificial sweetener; and inulin as in a perfectly nice soluble fiber, but still, randomly added to the bar. You can add inulin to anything to make it higher fiber. It's cheating. They make it sound like the fact that it's whole-bean makes it lower-sugar and higher-fiber, but that's simply a crock.

It's also twice as expensive as the chocolate from Whole Foods.

I don't even want to think about where the extra anti-oxidants in the Hershey's Antioxidant Milk Chocolate come from.

1 comment:

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this