Sawdust, now with added calcium.

Industry-Backed Label Calls Sugary Cereal a 'Smart Choice'
A new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, backed by most of the nation's largest food manufacturers, is "designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices."

The green checkmark label that is starting to show up on store shelves will appear on hundreds of packages, including -- to the surprise of many nutritionists -- sugar-laden cereals like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops. [...]

Dr. Kennedy, who is not paid for her work on the program, defended the products endorsed by the program, including sweet cereals. She said Froot Loops was better than other things parents could choose for their children. "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." [...]

Despite federal guidelines favoring whole grains, the criteria allow breads made with no whole grains to get the seal if they have added nutrients. "You could start out with some sawdust, add calcium or Vitamin A and meet the criteria," Mr. Jacobson said.

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20 Responses:

  1. pyrop says:

    But it's fortified!

  2. genericvox says:

    What the hell... Really?

    Subjective? Not at all, we base this on very scientific criteria.
    Soooooo... That bowl of maggots? SMART CHOICE!
    ...
    When compared to the lumps of feces on the sidewalk.

  3. inoah says:

    Corporations that want to adopt this labelling program have to pay annual fees to use them, instead of them being awarded by an impartial commission. So basically, corporations buy the labels.

    Follow the money.

    • wisn says:

      I was going to say, "They lost me at backed by most of the nation's largest food manufacturers..., because given a choice between being forced to comply with standards that risk altering their product and creating a branding campaign that lets them do whatever they want, multi-billion dollar corporations not going to risk their profit margins for the sake of public welfare," but yeah. What you said.

    • strspn says:

      Why is nobody seeing that what corporations do to label music is essentially the same thing?!?

      Trust busting is so important. Too important to be left up to the Justice Department alone.

  4. rjhatl says:

    "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."

    I would also like to point out for those who might not be aware of such things, that Froot Loops are also a better choice for your child's breakfast than that jar of lye on the next aisle. Just a handy tip in case you're pressed for time and can't make up your mind quickly..

    • mysterc says:

      Rememeber, there is no iq requirement to be a parent. So for the target audience, although sad and pathetic, it really is "helpful"

      A parent of one of my sons classmates thought that sending her 11 year old to school with a peanut butter twix was the same as sending her with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich... Yeah.

      • leolo says:

        I somehow suspect that generic white bread, industrial peanut butter and non-name brand jelly doesn't have much nutritional value anyway.

        • As disappointing as it is for hippies, producing less of something and doing so inefficiently doesn't make it any better for you. The cheap non-specific fruit jam from my local corner shop doesn't taste as good as the high-end stuff I actually use, but it's perfectly fine from a nutritional point of view, in a sense it's actually better because cheap jam replaces some of the sugars (which most people already eat way too much of) with a preservative and/or a shorter use-by date.

          Most countries mandate the nutritional value of the cheap white bread poor people buy, but IIRC in the US this was successfully blocked by the now familiar tactic of persuading the ignorant masses that the government was trying to poison their children.

  5. skreidle says:

    To be fair to Froot Loops/etc., I once discovered that Frosted Flakes have less sugar than Honey Nut Cheerios--due to the honey--but 'most everyone would say/think the Cheerios are "healthier". 's'all relative, and depends what numbers you look at.

  6. dr_memory says:

    Toxic sludge: still good for you!

  7. You could stick one of these on the DNA menu next to the nachos.

  8. roninspoon says:

    Too bad you'll never see that on a banana, or an onion.