So, by now, everybody knows that, at the 11th hour, a New York State Supreme Court Judge overturned Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ban the sale of large sugary drinks in New York City restaurants. Constitutionality aside, I think the judge didn’t want to wait in the long line at Dunkin’ Donuts. There will be appeals and the lawyers will get rich because the American Beverage Association spends millions and billions to fight soda taxes and laws like Bloomberg’s across the land every year. People don’t understand that we all pay for obesity in higher taxes to support Medicare, Medicare, disability benefits, etc. And “personal responsibility” is no match against foods that are engineered and marketed to make us overeat. Stephen Colbert explains it better than I. Watch.
The food industry is on to “nutrition” as a buzz word, and it’s already out of control. “Functional Foods,” foods with a function to deliver nutrients they don’t normally contain, were on my radar twice this week: first, in the form of a new Girl Scout cookie, MANGO CRÈMES WITH NUTRIFUSION™, that DietsInReview.com asked me to see, and second, in VITAMIN WATER that is nutritious – or not – as Stephen Colbert explains.
The Girl Scout bakery invented a new cookie, sans the trans fat and preservatives, pumped up with (only) 15% of the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) for vitamin B1 and 5% for vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6 – no mind to the hundreds and hundreds of other nutrients we need – and called it “a delicious new way to get your vitamins!” Not so fast. Those cookies have as much sugar and saturated fat as other cookies, and as an aside, they are mango-less, but since they are made with the dehydrated juice of cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries, I can’t complain. Just don’t say cookies are health food. Say, “Hey, we’d like you to try a new cookie and support the Girl Scouts.” That will suffice.
The Coca-Cola company is defending its Vitamin Water product against deceptive claims. Colbert connects the fake nutrition dots. How bad can it get?
Your thoughts: Are you confused by fake nutrition claims?
I knew they were Trouble with a capital T when I first saw them at a trade show. Have you seen the plastic pouches of squeezable fruit being marketed to kids? It is literally puréed fruit (well, a bit of vegetable, grain, or milk may walk through) in a plastic disposable pouch for preschoolers to eat on the run. This New York Times article, Putting the Squeeze on a Family Ritual, made me sick.
Puréed Fruit is Fabulous Food
Puréed fruit is delicious on yogurt and ice cream and it is perfect for shakes, cocktails, vinegars, shrubs, fruit soups, muffins and cakes and as a sauce for meat, fish, eggs and cheese. It is indispensable in French jellies pastes, mousse cakes and mascarpone creams, but to pour it down a toddler’s throat? Non, non and non!
Realize this: Children NEED to chew. The formation of the jaw and the muscles of the face depends on chewing. And children NEED to sit-down to eat meals and snacks to learn what and how to eat and how to socialize at the family table. If an over-pouched child were to present for a behavioral feeding assessment, the parents would lose points for (1) substituting easy “stand-in food” for structured meals and snacks; (2) making use of developmentally inappropriate food textures; and (3) adding too much simple sugar to the diet. Sucking sugar also destroys the teeth.
Q: How is a toddler strapped in a stroller sucking on fruit pouch like a “foie gras” goose?”
A: Both are force fed simple carbohydrates while being denied exercise.
“Foie gras” is French for “fat liver.” Geese and ducks are fed carbohydrates until their livers expand full of fat that tastes like yummy butter. A goose can be gorged with gavage feeding or left to gorge naturally on fruit. The Romans fed their geese dried figs to make foie gras. And so, if you see a fruit sucking preschooler develop fatty liver in a few years, remember you heard it from me first. But, please, don’t let it happen!
Your thoughts: Is this a New York thing or do kids everywhere have fruit pouches?
Watch Stephen Colbert blow the truthiness whistle on fruit pouches in “Thought for Food.”
Truly, let this be the last word on ‘pink slime’ the other name for ‘lean finely textured beef,’ LFTB, or as Colbert says, “Because our beef has so many hormones, it’s a member of the transgender community!” ‘Pink slime’ is simply beef offal and trimmings treated with ammonium hydroxide gas to control pathogens. Like it or not, ammonium hydroxide is added to lots of food: cheese, chocolate, confections, baked goods, breakfast cereals, eggs, fish, sports drinks, beer, pudding – and meat. (Read more about it from The International Food Information Council Foundation.) All I can say is, America, you have no idea. Watch Stephen slime pink slime.
Did you see Stephen Colbert’s “Thought for Food – Responsible Snacking & Second Breakfast” on Tuesday? If you did, then I know you’ll be glad to see it again. He spoofs the end of King-Size Snickers bars, Taco Bell’s revolutionary “fourth meal” and the rising popularity of “second breakfast.” “America won the space race by taking up the most space.” He begs, “We must explore new vistas in mealtimes: breakfast, post-breakfast pre-lunch, brunch, bru-lunch, lunch, dinner-prequel….” And it goes on. Talk about The Sh*t Food Marketers Say! Oh, Stephen, your truthiness is so delish.
Prepare to laugh for 4:36 minutes: