rants

miss ene says “READ YOUR FOOD LABEL!”

Coca-Cola, the giant drinks company who is responsible for the copious amounts of sugar that we put into our bodies, is being sued for their Vitaminwater. An excerpt:

“Coke markets Vitaminwater as a healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words as ‘defense,’ ‘rescue,’ ‘energy’ and ‘endurance,'” the group said in a statement.

The company also claims the drinks reduce the risk of chronic disease and eye disease, promote healthy joints and support immune function, CSPI said.

What makes me really mad is this retort by Coca-Cola found in this well-written article:

In a staggering feat of twisted logic, lawyers for Coca-Cola are defending the lawsuit by asserting that “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.”

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’d have notice that this new beverage is now found on our lovely sunny shores. They started to pop up a couple of months ago and I first noticed it because local celebrities on Twitter were tweeting about it, dropping its name into their tweets. I’m guessing that they were given free bottles in exchange for subtle endorsement.

Now, I don’t know about you but the psychedelic-coloured beverage scared me a little. Real food is never this bright, people! Coincidentally, I also stumbled upon an article that can be summed up as vitaminwater not containing much nutrients except sugar and water. Now, Coca-Cola is argueing that all the ingredients is stated upfront clearly on the bottles and that consumers should be able to read them and hence, make an ‘informed choice’.

I think we’re missing a slight point here.

Hands up, how many of you actually scrutinise and read the labels on your food products before you buy or consume them? I was one of those consumers who bought into advertising hype and would buy food/drinks that shouted ‘No added sugar!’, ‘Added calcium!’ or anything along those lines. I did not read labels because on the cover of the (brightly-coloured) packaging, these words would be jumping out at me.


[Source: 9 food label lies]

I can’t quite remember when I made the conscious effort to read food labels but I started to do so a couple of years ago. I actually enjoyed turning the product around and reading the fine print that says “ingredients”. This is also due in part to my food allergies so I want to know what is going into the food or drink that I am going to consume. If you have never done this before, do it the next time you head to the supermarket.

You will find lots of big words that don’t mean anything. I’d notice words like ‘sodium’ or ‘fructose’ and realise that these actually mean ‘salt’ and ‘sugar’. I can’t remember the big words now but try and google them. There’s always a simple word for it and it’s usually NOT good for our body. Once, the BGF also told me that in one of the supposedly ‘sugar-free’ sweets that I consume regularly, there was a certain ingredient contained within that is – ready for this? – used to embalm dead bodies.

Yikes.

So yes, back to the Vitaminwater debacle.

Because I knew that it basically contained sugar and water, I refused to go anywhere near it. However, I see many of my students carrying it around like it was the next big thing in fashion. It was as they chose the appropriate colour drink to match their clothes. Vitaminwater positioned itself to look like it was COOL to be “HEALTHY”. CHOOSE ME OVER ALL THOSE CARBONATED DRINKS!!


[Source: Big fat lie: Food labels hiding truth]

Ladies and gentlemen, as this article pointed out, I don’t blame them for getting swept up by the hype. Any reasonable person would assume that a drink named Vitaminwater is going to be good for them. Vitamin and water – what’s not healthy about it, right?

I don’t have anything against Vitaminwater or people who choose to drink it because it is your life. I guess the point of this entry is to say: Hey, READ THE LABELS ON YOUR FOOD AND DRINK PRODUCTS because many a times, what they say in advertising does not equate to what really goes into it.

Take for example a pack of fruit juice. Even though it says “no added sugar”, there is still sugar contained within because fruits have sugar in them! How else do you think that pack of fruit juice tastes so yummy?


[Source: Honest food labels]

Of course, life would be a bore if we lived without sugar, salt and all things unhealthy. I guess as the age-old saying goes: Everything in moderation.

And read your labels!!

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8 thoughts on “miss ene says “READ YOUR FOOD LABEL!”

  1. OH DEAR! Thanks for sharing this! I guess I’m one of those that’s guilty for not fully reading my food labels dilligently. ;( We’ve been drinking Vitamin Water thinking that it’s packed with natural vitamins. Actually, I’m also drawn to the pretty colours of the water. Looks like I won’t be stocking this up the next time they have an offer at the supermarket.

    1. I never used to read them as well but it’s never too late to start! Check out the link shared by zigzagza below. Lots of interesting reads about food. Glad to know that this entry helped in a teeny way!

  2. I am guilty as guilty can be! Although I do make consious effort to sway away from sugary stuff but yes, will make more effort in the future to read labels! And……… I never liked those Vitaminwater, one look at them you know it’s faux advertising! Those horrible artificial colours.. tsk 🙂

    1. You’ve always sounded quite healthy in your food blog entries so I think you’re ok, babe. Heh. Yes, the really bright colours of Vitaminwater is quite a giveaway!

  3. I agree. Everything in moderation. I have heard that Vitamin water has no nutrients. I am like you, I totally buy into the advertising hype. The name Vitamin itself is already a huge part of attraction. You’re right about the colors. Natural drinks do not have those colors.

    1. These days, I really do try my best not to buy into advertising hype. Also, in Chinese food (which I take a lot of), there’s already loads of sugar, salt, preservatives, MSG, etc etc. I guess that’s what makes ’em so yummy! This is unlike the Japanese diet which is waaaaay healthier!

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