Food marketers have a new labeling campaign called Smart Choices.
“Approved” food will have a green checkmark. Green is apparently a magic seal-of-approval used by “responsible” corporations to convince gullible people to buy their products.
The program, "designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices,” say manufacturers, has generous standards; its green checkmark label will appear on sugar-packed cereals like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops.
The New York Times reports that there's an explanation:
Eileen T. Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board and the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said the program’s criteria were based on government dietary guidelines and widely accepted nutritional standards...
Once government sets dietary guidelines, I’m not surprised that they become something for the establishment to manipulate.
“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Kennedy said, evoking a hypothetical parent in the supermarket. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”
Froot Loops is a better choice than bourbon too, but I still don't think it rates a green checkmark. According to the Times, Froot Loops contains 12 grams of sugar per serving -- 41 percent of the product, more sugar than in many cookies.
Kellogg's has the right to sell cereal that's 100 percent sugar if they want -- and people have the right to buy it. But slapping a phony "green" label that implies it's nutritious is wrong.
Give me a break.
- Pre-October 2009