Today, I am going to start a little rant on a food product I LOVE to eat. It's Sheila G's Brownie Brittle.
I was having a particularly stressful day. It was the 3:00 snacking hour and that darn bag was staring at me. "Yes, just one piece. I can have just one piece," I thought. I am a certified health coach. I know I should not even be looking at the bag, let alone be grabbing a piece of this deliciousness to help soothe my stress. This is the WRONG way to handle stress. However, I was in a weak state of mind, and in the bag my hand went. As I stood there crunching away, I was reading the bag.
Hmm. This intrigued me. I know this is junk food. What ingredients would prompt such a statement? I flipped the bag over to find the ingredient list. Oh my. This is when the anger started to rise. This is just a partial list of what I found:
- Enriched Wheat Flour (and the list of ingredients that goes into that)
- Powdered Sugar
- Corn Syrup Solids
- Dry Egg Whites
- Caramel Color
- And the list goes on
There are 5 paragraphs of text that follow that all-caps statement. None of which has any information that tells me why I should feel good about indulging in dry egg whites and caramel color.
Oh wait, maybe it's the part of the text that says it is only 120 calories per serving. Is that what I'm supposed to feel good about?
Moving on down the nutritional label...14 grams of sugar. 14!! That means that of the 120 calories, 56 are from sugar. Nearly 50%. Oh yes, I am definitely feeling good about this now! Mind you...all the time I am reading, I am still crunching away. Because, well, it's crack. Oh, I mean it's sugar. And it's addictive. Read more about that here.
As soon as I got in the car, I ripped open the package, broke off a piece, and took a bite. It was OK; nothing I would rave about. It was sweeter than I would have liked, and I didn't really get a honey flavor, and certainly didn't taste honeycomb. So now I decide to go look at the label. Ohhhh, I see! There isn't actually any honeycomb in this chocolate bar! If I had finished reading the description on the front of the bar it said, "luscious amber honey caramelized into crisp bits and enrobed in dark chocolate." It doesn't actually say that there is honeycomb in the chocolate there. Even better is how the ingredient list shows "caramelized honey" which consists of: sugar, corn syrup, honey, water, baking soda. Ahh, yes. This is why I didn't actually taste honey. There is hardly any of it in there. I will say this...bad on me for not reading. I know better than that. But really bad on them for calling that bar honeycomb, showing the honeycomb, and then having zero honeycomb in the product, and then barely any honey at all.
I leave you with these words: don't believe the marketing hype! READ those ingredient and nutritional labels. Remember that just because something is marketed as natural or organic, doesn't mean it is good for you. Lastly, a treat is a treat. I am far from a perfect human being. However, I try hard to have my most of my indulgent foods to at least be made from real food, free of chemicals, artificial flavors and colors. Regardless of how natural or not they are, under no circumstances should those indulgences be confused with food that is going to make your body stronger and thrive.
Have you run into food labels that infuriate you? I want to hear from you in the comments.