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Sugar Laden and Highly Processed Foods To Be Sold As “Smart Food Choices”

General Mills and Kellogg’s want to sell sugary processed foods like Froot Loops and Lucky Charms to your kids.  This isn’t anything new.  But under the guise of the new “Smart Choices” Program, large food corporations want to proudly label sugary, highly processed foods as good nutritional food options.

The program was recently created by a conglomerate of conglomerates, including ConAgra Foods, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, Pepsico, Tyson Foods, and Unilever.  The participating companies list all their products that “meet a comprehensive set of nutrition criteria based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other sources of nutrition science and authoritative dietary guidance”.  You can review the Smart Choices website for yourself.

While there are some admirable ideas in the program, such as honest, transparent labeling and encouraging healthy eating options, one has to question the wisdom of any program that is able to recommend Foot Loops, Lucky Charms, and Frosted Flakes as healthy eating options.  And Wheat Thins, Teddy Grahams, and Fudgsicles are probably not the healthiest snacking/dessert ideas out there, but according to the “Smart Choices” program they are.

In an age when the obesity problem in America has reached epic proportions, making smart food choices is a key to a healthy living.  But with childhood obesity, early onset diabetes, and the myriad other health problems caused by over-consumption of highly processed and sugar laden foods, labeling the aforementioned products as “Smart Choices” is at the very least misleading and irresponsible, and representative of greenwashing at its worst.

Organizations like Food Democracy Now! have railed against the Smart Choices Program and have started a letter writing campaign to end this misleading labeling practice.  You can sign a letter to be delivered to the USDA and FDA here.

Photo Credit: Zanastardust on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons License

7 comments
  1. mj

    Yes indeed, “part” of a balanced breakfast. Unfortunately the other foods in this idyllic breakfast need to be so far on the other side (healthy side) of the balance to neutralize the effects of this toxic bowl of yum.

  2. waltinseattle

    I have not verified yet, but have heard that: the definintion of “organic” has recently been perverted. To wit, there are a growing number of additives allowed in organic foods, the preped foods that are packaged and sold as organic. These are “nutritional” aditives, not themselves “organic” but the USDA has decided since they are “good for us” they need not be flagged nor do they disqualify the food for labeling as “organic.” The bit I read was about the addition of several unspecified substances to this list. I believe they were what is often refered to as “vitamins.”

    Then of course you should know that synthetic genes are acceptable in “organic” because they are not added to the foodstuffs, but are an integral part of the foodstuff. The seedstock’s laboratory preps are not under consideration for the labeling certifications, thus says the same “regulatory” body!!!

    Wow, “Smart Choice”, “Organic”, “GMO” and they can all be applied to high fructose corn syrup if things keep going this way. And to grains with genetics that prevent digestation if the right grains are inside. Of course we, the well informed consumer will see the smart and the organic, but not the Gmo claims. And to top the icing, its prejudicial to rBGH milk sources to label your non- rBGH milk, so say the users of this virally generated cattle hormone. So soon, perhaps, it will be illegal to mention your status as an organic foodstuff. You know, it might make people not trust the “inorganic” foodstuffs!!!!! hurt the bottome line….

    Welcome to the brave new vocabulary of the USDA

    Meanwhile we are told they will not fine us or take the kids away for the crime of obesity (i.e. costing the state-given-right insurance pool too much money), no, wait….they have not ssaid this. But in G.B. they are already doing such things.

    Welcome to the future, “citizen.”

  3. Erin

    Though I am no nurse, I would think that this cereal alone can’t exactly constitute a healthy diet. Especially with kids, it is important to get balance, just as we need that as adults.

  4. Uncle B

    The great American Neanderthal, 200 years to evolve to his current status, eating 80% of the worlds resources just to survive, his high caloric intake and larger body size, unprecedented in mankind, no bigger bones ever found! and now, he faces his extinction! Totally oil dependent, and requiring 6 acres of good farmland just to provide the meat he eats, and his “cheap corn” dependency based on the “cheap oil era”, gives him cheap meat through force fed beef with that same cheap corn,in his factory farms, then distributed by oil based means, his super market system! This poor fellow is completely “cheap oil” dependent for the very food he eats! Even his breakfast cereal consists of corn, processed corn, and corn based sugars, and Monsanto, the great whore-corporation is diddling in that very same corn with untested, unpredictable genetic experiments! The oil, the other factor in this corn based diet, is diminishing in the world as we speak, and will soon be sold on international markets in Chinese Yuan! In fact: China just bought the South Azadegan Oil Field – the largest discovery in the Middle East in the last thirty years – from Iran for cash and covert, “secret” Nukes, as “secret” as Israel’s nukes I suppose! This fact increases the price of oil, and the scarcity of oil and consequently, the very foods the great American Neanderthal requires for his survival! Corn, Monsanto’s dangerous experiments, Oil and world markets, now threaten this greatly dependent beast, and his very extinction is at hand!

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