Even though I’ve been reading about all this for quite some time now, I continue to be surprised by how many companies get away with such claims.
The logo that appears on more and more Kraft food items called “Sensible Solutions” is one that’s really starting to frustrate me. It’s over used, and the products that have it on their packages are definitely NOT sensible.
The logo looks like this:
Usually with some nutritional information below this symbol.
Here’s an example:
I wrote an article a while back on Ritz Crackers. You’ll find many of the same ingredients here, so, if you want to refer back here’s the link: Are Ritz Crackers Healthy?
I can completely relate to and understand those who are confused about all this. Our family was there, not too long ago. We picked up these products left and right, simply because the label said “sensible solution”, or “natural”, or (insert other greenwashing label here…)
(As an aside, it’s not just food products we’re looking into…many skin care and personal care product are guilty of this too. Here’s one on an Aveeno lawsuit: Are Aveeno products natural? A Johnson and Johnson lawsuit
And one on this popular skin care: Is Arbonne Toxic or Is Arbonne Safe?)
This comes directly from the Kraft website (http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/healthy-living-ideas/product-information.aspx)
Here is a closer look at some of their “sensible solution” products:
Jello? Kraft Dinner? mayonnaise? Need I say more?
This is one of the most obvious examples of how we just cannot trust the product labels (nor can we trust anything these companies have to say).
Now on to the product in question…Peek Freans.
I’m using the example of the Peek Freans Lifestyle selection “bran crunch”. If you look at almost any ‘flavours’ or varieties, they are mostly all the same.
Let’s break down each ingredient:
1) ~ Enriched Wheat flour:
This might be the most deceiving of the entire lot. When many people see “wheat” flour, they automatically assume whole wheat or “health”.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. “Enriched” means flour is processed, refined and has no nutritional value. The nutrients have been taken out during the process, and this word means some of them have been put back in.
The same goes for ANY product that has the word “enriched” on the label. (As well as “fortified”…whatever nutrient it’s “fortified” with has been mechanically added.
(From our original article): Flours are among the most confusing for people. So, how do we know what to buy? ”wheat”, “multigrain”, “unbleached”, etc.
The answer will depend on many factors. If a person is gluten intolerant, for example they’ll want to stay away from wheat and gluten all together. Buckwheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, rice and some oats are examples of gluten free grains/food.
Even 100% whole wheat is refined. If you can get “sprouted whole wheat, that’s by far the best. What we look for is ‘whole grain‘ or ‘sprouted whole grain‘ or ‘sprouted whole wheat’.
One of these 3 symbols will typically be on the product:
2) ~ Sugar:
I think this one is self explanatory, but if you must know, when “sugar” is listed, it’s usually the refined and bleached kind. Just like regular ‘table’ sugar.
See here for our favourite sugar alternatives: 4 Better Substitutes For Sugar
3) Soybean Oil:
When “soy” is listed on any label make sure it says “organic” in front of the ‘soy’ product. Soy is one of those ingredients that most often GMO. Soy is also highly estrogenic, which isn’t good for obvious reasons. It’s especially detrimental to young boys who are still developing.
Many, many ingredients today are made from soy (example is soy lecithin). It’s tough to walk through the grocery store these days and not see any soy products.
Soy milk, soy cheese, tofu (of all kinds). It’s super important to see “Organic” or “non-GMO” certified labels, (as I said, simply because Soy is one of the biggest GMO crops out there, along with canola and Cotton). See more on GMOs here: Oh NO! It’s GMO.
We rarely buy any soy products. Occasionally we’ll have Organic Tofu or Tempeh.
4) Glucose-Fructose (see “sugar”)
5) ~ Salt:
Always check sodium content on labels.
We usually look for “sea salt”, “celtic sea salt” or ”himalayan salt” (which is from the pink rock)
6) ~ Soy lecithin:
Again, here, if it’s not 100% organic, we don’t buy it. Please see “soy” description in 2) point.
See more on GMOs here: Oh NO! It’s GMO.
7) ~ Artificial Flavor, artificial color (including Tartrazine) and preservatives like Socium Benzoit:
I group these ones together for a reason. They each have been shown to cause long term negative effects, especially in children.
When you see “artificial flavours” on the label, it can include thousands of chemicals and additives that don’t necessarily have to be labeled. ***what’s even scarier: Did you know that manufacturers use “natural flavour” to hide known and unwanted ingredients, such as MSG?? God awful.
Here’s an excerpt from Time, that was in an article on Nurse Together dot com:
“Research conducted in 2007 by a team from the University of Southampton’s Schools of Psychology and Medicine shows “that a variety of common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate — an ingredient in many soft drinks, fruit juices, salad dressings and other foods — causes some children to become more hyperactive and distractible than usual.” (TIME)
Companies include all these ingredients for many reasons (they are cheap,thy preserve shelf life, they keep taste fresh), but the best reason for them is the fact that these additives and preservatives are highly addictive. Bonus for the companies, right?
Does all this sound like it should be labeled “sensible solutions”?
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Questions? Comments? The space is open for you below
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