As much as I might disagree with highly interventionist policies of public health advocates like Marion Nestle and Michele Simon, I can see exactly where they're coming from when I look at this box of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts I just bought. Have a look:
No, really. Have a look:
The claim that Pop Tarts are a "good source of 7 vitamins and minerals" is ... what's the word? ...it's coming to me...
But what's extra funny about this claim is, technically, it's true. See for yourself:
By using enriched flour, the food formulators from Battle Creek give you your niacin, iron, vitamin B1 and B2 and folic acid. And then, lower down on the list of ingredients, you can see that they've added some Vitamin B6 and even a little extra Vitamin A, B1 and B2 for good measure. There you go: seven vitamins and minerals. Technically, Pop-Tarts are a "source" of them.
Except that the phrase "good source of" depends on what the meaning of "good" is. Does it mean good as in tastes good? Or good as in good for you? Does good source mean a better source than other foods that also contain these same seven vitamins and minerals? It's all so Clintonian.
Look, I love Pop-Tarts. I don't believe we should ban them, tax them or take them off the shelves. And despite this laughable ad copy, no consumer on Earth should be under the illusion that Pop-Tarts are diet foods, that they're low in sugar, that they'll make you thin if you eat them, or even that they're particularly healthy at all.
But I do have a message for the management at Kellogg's: Don't be jokers. Just sell your product, don't make inadvertently hilarious claims. It's embarrassing.
When It Comes To Banning Soda, Marion Nestle Fights Dirty
Interview with Jayson Lusk, Author of "The Food Police"
Should I Be Paranoid About Grocery Store Loyalty Cards?
An Interview with "Appetite For Profit" Author Michele Simon
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