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Deceptive Food Labeling


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I want to incorporate a food labeling into my program. Mainly I want to point out deceptive food labeling. For instance using blue colored apple pieces in "blueberry" flavored pancake mix.

Or, labels that are "new and improved" when all they do is change the shape of the package so they can sell you less product for the same price.

I would love to hear of any examples you know of, of deceptive food labels.

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I cant recall all of the details but I once bought a package that was labeled Texas (something) Dinner for two. It was enough for one-me, not two hungry people. It had included some sausage, shrimp, corn and other stuff. It said something like 120 calories per serving on the front.

Inside the package, the sausage was packaged separately and the information about that shot the 120 calories claim all to pieces. On the back of the outer package, in very fine print, it said servings per package: 10

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Or, labels that are "new and improved" when all they do is change the shape of the package so they can sell you less product for the same price.

Can you give an example of that? Usually when producers are reducing package size they don't want to bring attention to that.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I have been on this rant lately,the Kroeger store meat dept,(won't call em butchers)call some really strange cuts of beef,"TENDERLOIN",Stuff is not

tenderloin by the stretch of anybodys imagination....(and at $17/pound...)

Bud

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I want to incorporate a food labeling into my program. Mainly I want to point out deceptive food labeling. For instance using blue colored apple pieces in "blueberry" flavored pancake mix.

Honestly? I think that when the food manufacturers pulled that crap in cereals years ago in the late 70s early 80s that that was when US food morals went to hell. From then on out, the food companies were able to pull more and more sheet on us.

Why did we accept it?

Europe wouldnt have accepted it.

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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One of the worst examples to my mind is loading a product up with sugar and then selling it as being low fat. Technically correct so not illegal but that sugar converts to fat unless you burn it off. Low fat, perhaps, but in reality a major cause of creating fat.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I want to incorporate a food labeling into my program. Mainly I want to point out deceptive food labeling. For instance using blue colored apple pieces in "blueberry" flavored pancake mix.

Honestly? I think that when the food manufacturers pulled that crap in cereals years ago in the late 70s early 80s that that was when US food morals went to hell. From then on out, the food companies were able to pull more and more sheet on us.

Why did we accept it?

Europe wouldnt have accepted it.

I just hate to disappoint you, but 'Europe' (or, the 40+ really diverse countries that comprise it) drank the Kool-aid, too; the only difference is in the specifics of what happened.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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^^^^

Yeah, as I have mentioned before, the "Europe" that gets bandied about here often seems to exclude the UK certainly...

I have noticed that a recent trend in the UK is to reduce size of packages. For instance chocolate bars. I think it is so that they can keep it at the same price as it always has been, because most people will notice a price rise more than a subtle change in size. To me this isn't a problem as I don't buy a lot of pre-made food and also I think small serving sizes of snack foods are good. But obviously you get less for your money.

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I come from Holland, here they don't even try to hide, as long as it's cheap, generally it doesn't matter if it tastes like soggy newspapers.

There have been some improvements lately, but trust me, we are as much in the crapper as the rest of the western world.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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Here is a great one, especially for Canada. The dairy industry is regulated by the govt, thus dairy is expensive. Bryers ice cream isnt really ice cream, the majority of it is frozen dessert. Same goes for some sour "cream". They are made with modified milk ingredients( those leftover from the production of milk). Bryers cant call it ice cream, because there isnt that required percentage of milk. When the classic Bryers would go on sale for 1.99, everyone thought they were getting a bargain. Ben and Jerry's and Haggaz daz are imported from the US so they cost a lot more( and they are real dairy) When I lived in Ontario, this used to bug the everloving crap out of me. I used to show people in the grocery store all the time. They had no clue. Dryers/Edy's does the same thing here with "frozen dessert". I called Bryers when I lived in Canada and they said they changed their formula because customers wanted less trans fats. Yeah, right.

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Huh. Here in Ecuador, what you see on the label is exactly what you get. If the cake is topped with non-dairy edible oil products, it has to say it, in fairly large letters, on the packaging. Equally, you can't say "ice cream" without the first ingredient in the stuff being cream, not milk - there's another term for that.

The only time we see deceptive labeling is on products imported from the US.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Talking to my European friends gives me the impression that they have no GMOs, no Cool Whip, No Kool Aid type beverages. Everything is all real and non artificial.

While I admit Ive never been to Europe, I must wonder why they are telling me all this if there is not a grain of truth in it.

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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Don't get me wrong, we've still even got TANG on the shelves here (in tropical "flavours"!) but the overall culture is to leave it to gather dust and make the juice fresh. And that TANG is clearly labeled as a chemical soup to produce a fruit-ish flavoured instant beverage.

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Talking to my European friends gives me the impression that they have no GMOs, no Cool Whip, No Kool Aid type beverages. Everything is all real and non artificial.

While I admit Ive never been to Europe, I must wonder why they are telling me all this if there is not a grain of truth in it.

Well I can't speak for the entirety of Europe, but accounting for the parts I visited I can tell you that's a rather large lie, company's here don't flaunt the artificiality of the products as much as American products do, but that doesn't make them any less artificial.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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Huh. Here in Ecuador, what you see on the label is exactly what you get. If the cake is topped with non-dairy edible oil products, it has to say it, in fairly large letters, on the packaging. Equally, you can't say "ice cream" without the first ingredient in the stuff being cream, not milk - there's another term for that.

The only time we see deceptive labeling is on products imported from the US.

In what way are they deceptive? In the US, labeling of ice cream is defined by milkfat content. It's not a very high standard--ten percent is the minimum. Obviously, the usual sources of milkfat are cream and milk, but others are allowed. Breyer's regular ice cream, which Ms. Poutine poo-poos, qualifies. They list the ingredients of the natural vanilla as "Milk, Cream, Sugar, Natural Tara Gum, Natural Vanilla Flavor." (Note the tara gum was added by Unilever). Admittedly, they make a variety of dessert items and "low-fat" products that do not qualify, and are labeled appropriately--they are not allowed to be called ice cream.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Huh. Here in Ecuador, what you see on the label is exactly what you get. If the cake is topped with non-dairy edible oil products, it has to say it, in fairly large letters, on the packaging. Equally, you can't say "ice cream" without the first ingredient in the stuff being cream, not milk - there's another term for that.

The only time we see deceptive labeling is on products imported from the US.

In what way are they deceptive? In the US, labeling of ice cream is defined by milkfat content. It's not a very high standard--ten percent is the minimum. Obviously, the usual sources of milkfat are cream and milk, but others are allowed. Breyer's regular ice cream, which Ms. Poutine poo-poos, qualifies. They list the ingredients of the natural vanilla as "Milk, Cream, Sugar, Natural Tara Gum, Natural Vanilla Flavor." (Note the tara gum was added by Unilever). Admittedly, they make a variety of dessert items and "low-fat" products that do not qualify, and are labeled appropriately--they are not allowed to be called ice cream.

I wasn't talking specifically about ice cream, though - we don't import that so I haven't seen a North American ice cream label in almost 5 years. I was merely using it as a local example, because our food agency is very strict about the labeling of dairy products, and in particular with ice cream the standard is very high for it (75% cream and only cream, anyone?).

What gets me more are the US-imported products, particularly chocolate bars. Here, to be called a chocolate bar, there has to be at least 50% cocoa solids in the chocolate component of the thing. However, in bars like Snickers (to pull an import brand out of the air), chocolate is so far down the list as to be almost an afterthought. Yet these things are still labeled as chocolate bars. I use this as an example, because an equivalent candy bar from, say, Uruguay, is labeled as a candy bar with chocolate-flavoured coating when there's less than 50% cocoa solids in it.

I also see a lot of "new and improved" import products where the improvement was to shave a couple ounces off of the weight or reduce the package size, "Low Fat" things that are incredibly high in sugars instead, and I caught something (I can't recall quite what, maybe granola) that claimed to be "wheat free" and then on the back in tiny little print were the ingredients of the "puffed rice" that was, substantially, wheat flour.

Then there are things like cranberry juice labeled as "Zero Trans Fats" which isn't exactly deceptive packaging, but irks the heck out of me - of course fruit juice isn't going to have trans fats in it!

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Huh. Here in Ecuador, what you see on the label is exactly what you get. If the cake is topped with non-dairy edible oil products, it has to say it, in fairly large letters, on the packaging. Equally, you can't say "ice cream" without the first ingredient in the stuff being cream, not milk - there's another term for that.

The only time we see deceptive labeling is on products imported from the US.

In what way are they deceptive? In the US, labeling of ice cream is defined by milkfat content. It's not a very high standard--ten percent is the minimum. Obviously, the usual sources of milkfat are cream and milk, but others are allowed. Breyer's regular ice cream, which Ms. Poutine poo-poos, qualifies. They list the ingredients of the natural vanilla as "Milk, Cream, Sugar, Natural Tara Gum, Natural Vanilla Flavor." (Note the tara gum was added by Unilever). Admittedly, they make a variety of dessert items and "low-fat" products that do not qualify, and are labeled appropriately--they are not allowed to be called ice cream.

Bryers regular ice cream is NOT the ice "cream" that is being sold in Canada. What is sold in Canada is a totally different product. Its called "frozen dessert". It says so on the package. There are limited amounts of regular Bryer's sold and its 6.99-8.99. Sometimes it went on sale for 3.99.

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Bryers regular ice cream is NOT the ice "cream" that is being sold in Canada. What is sold in Canada is a totally different product. Its called "frozen dessert". It says so on the package. There are limited amounts of regular Bryer's sold and its 6.99-8.99. Sometimes it went on sale for 3.99.

Then is it deceptive packaging? I mean, if they are not claiming it is ice cream, then you can't really complain about the labeling. I mean, it may be a crappy product, but that is a different problem. Also, the fact that different countries have different established standards doesn't make the packaging intrinsically deceptive.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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