The Art of Deception: More Ways the Food Industry is Influencing Your Purchases

Did you know that there’s a massive difference between “cereal” and “breakfast cereal?’ Cereal means grain, such as brown rice, bulgur wheat, oatmeal (not microwave-able), millet, amaranth, spelt. Breakfast cereal means Coco Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Life Cereal, Raisin Bran (one of the highest sugar breakfast cereals on the market). Cheerios and Kashi, too, in case you were wondering. Cereal comes from the field; breakfast cereal comes from the factory.

If someone has to tell you that a product is food (“processed American cheese food”), it’s not. If someone has to tell you when to use a product, it’s not food. Take Lunchables, for example. Packed with stripped carbs and highly processed oils, the truth is that they’re not designed to nourish your kids. Or “lunch meats,” which increase your risk of heart disease. “Dinner rolls” are angel food cake without the sugar. And, of course, “breakfast cereals.” If someone has to tell you which meal is the one at which you should eat their product, it’s not food.

I’ve written about other examples of this. About how the food industry capitalizes on the fact that you know you’re supposed to eat more fruits and vegetables by naming products vegetable shortening, or Frooot Looops, or Froooty Pebbles, or Boooberry. Or key-lime-pie-flavored yogurt.

We have a biological imperative to eat color: Blueberries, beets, radicchio, Swiss chard, apricots, peaches, rhubarb, grapes, pomegranates, cantaloupe, and kiwis. They’re jam-packed with phytonutrients, and each color represents a different building block for your good health. That’s a long way from Skittles, m&m’s, sour patch kids, or Lucky Charms.

Phytonutrients? Yes. Red dye number 3? None for me, thanks.



Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

One thought on “The Art of Deception: More Ways the Food Industry is Influencing Your Purchases

  1. This is a great reminder of the need to eat food that is (or recently was alive). If it can survive in a box or packet for months on end in your cupboard then it probably isn’t going to do you a lot of good.

    People often don’t look beyond food as calories and don’t see the benefits of all the other nutrients real food contains.

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