Monday, March 28, 2011

All Natural? Really?

You know that the words "all Natural" on a package has reached a new low of meaningless when Frito-lay starts putting them on a package of Barbeque-flavored potato chips. I thought that this WSJ piece on how Frito-Lay and Kraft are reformulating their junk food to make them less junky and slap the label "all Natural" on them was quite illuminating. But while removing some of the junkier ingredients in junk food is, of course, a positive step, in the end you have to remember that these "all Natural" products are just a better class of crap. The article writer seems have agreed with me:

Making snacks with natural ingredients doesn't necessarily make them healthy, nutritionists and industry critics caution, even if they are potentially less bad. That includes potato chips, which contain a lot of fat and salt. The revamped Frito-Lay's chips' fat and sugar content hasn't changed much.

"Foods that are less loaded with sugar, fat and salt, that's what's important. Everything else is marketing," says David Kessler a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and snack-industry critic.
I think Marion Nestle said it well here:
But isn’t a “healthy” processed snack food an oxymoron? They can tweak and tweak the contents, but these products will still be heavily processed. Too much evidence now concludes that marketing a product as “healthy” or “natural” makes people think it has no calories. And as I keep saying, just because a processed food is a little bit less bad than it used to be, doesn’t necessarily make it a good choice.


  1. I have been on a mission to eliminate processed food from my diet for the last couple of months. Of course this is not always easy or successful but I try very hard. I feel so much better when eating only real food (ERF - is a movement called Eat Real Food). Your post makes me a little aggravated at the food industry, well more than a little actually. It is all so deceptive and without and ethics. Sad stuff - to be sure!

  2. One thing I've learned about changing your diet, you do have to take the process slowly. If you go too fast in elminating the "junk" it's almost as if your body revolts, and it back-fired. Baby steps in this case are definately better then giant steps.