Quaker Oats is being sued over the big “100% Natural” label on the front of its box. What else is in that bucket o’ oats that makes the label a lie? Nothing, say the plantiffs—it is, indeed, just oats. Their complaint is that the oats were grown using pesticides. That, they claim, should be sufficient to keep the natural label off it.
But they do have a definition for “organic” which is what the plaintiffs evidently think Quaker Oats is claiming to be even though it’s not anywhere on the label.
There’s no medical evidence that eating non-organic Quaker oats, or any other conventionally-grown food, is unhealthy or harmful at all. Stop worrying about whether food is “organic” or not, and quit eating so much fucking salt and sugar, people. THAT is what makes you unhealthy.
Forget “Fat free”, “Natural” or “Made with real fruit.” Food packages are covered in claims that make you think you’re buying something healthy, but many of those labels are useless to you, the consumer. Here’s how to tell the few helpful labels from their confusing brethren.
In a recent New York Times column, Mark Bittman compared consumers to lab animals subjected to an experiment. “Stop Making Us Guinea Pigs,” the headline of his piece lamented. The experiment? Genetically modified organisms lurking in the nation’s food, filling our families’ bellies, and maybe doing something to us, or maybe not. Bittman’s solution? Labeling all foods containing GMOs, presumably so consumers can avoid them.
The term “GMO” refers to how a food ingredient was bred, not its content.
I agree with the idea that content is the most prominent issue on the table. After all, this blog/website/etc focuses on the amount of a particular vitamin to aid people like myself for minimizing medication impact/counteraction. Where something comes from is still important – this helps us with pesticide/chemical exposure, as there are people with sensitivities to full blown allergy.
Switching to organic apples because they top the “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the most pesticides? You may want to reconsider. It turns out the “Dirty” foods are fairly clean, and organic foods aren’t free of pesticides anyway.
The “Dirty Dozen” list, which aims to rank the fruits with the most pesticide residue, comes from the Environmental Working Group, and they publish their methodology on the report’s website. They basically download the test results from the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program, which samples produce for pesticide residues, and come up with a ranking score for each fruit or vegetable based on six criteria relating to the number of different pesticide residues seen on produce of that type, the percentage of samples with pesticide residues, and the total amount of pesticide detected.
You’re in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you’re staring at a wall of egg cartons. They’re plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.
…Here is the result. Consider it a glossary for the wannabe informed egg buyer.