Eat Smart · Feel Great · Get Well

Cheers and Jeers

by Laura Jungreis, blogger

Cheers to…

Walmart, for announcing its plan to make packaged food healthier. Great Value, the house brand, specifically aims to lower levels of sodium, trans fat and sugar in many foods like soup, rice and canned beans. Walmart will also eliminate any extra cost for products made with whole grain and will be lowering the price of fruits and vegetables. Read more about the initiative.

Unilever, the corporation that owns Lipton, for ending animal testing. Lipton tested the effects of their tea ingredients on rabbits, pigeons, mice and rats, and recently came under fire after reports of animal cruelty surfaced. Unilever responded, saying it is “committing to no animal testing for our tea and tea-based beverages, with immediate effect.” Get more details about the animal testing here.

Jeers to…

Girl Scouts, for having misleading information on their cookie boxes. Many of their treats are labeled as having “0 grams trans fat” despite containing some. The FDA allows such a label on products that contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat. However, the actual amount of trans fat is not required to be disclosed. The Girls Scouts are not alone—Chips Ahoy and Nilla Wafers also claim to have zero grams of trans fat though hydrogenated oils are indeed present. The FDA is under pressure to change its regulations. Read about the controversy here.

General Mills, the maker of Total Blueberry Pomegranate Cereal, for including no real fruit in the cereal. Instead, there are artificial colors, like red #40 and blue #2, and sucralose. Kellogg’s is guilty of the same deceptive advertising. Their Frosted Mini Wheats are available in a Blueberry Muffin flavor, but the “blueberries” are made of sugar, soybean oil and artificial colors. Watch a video about the lack of real blueberries in packaged products here.