Food labels purposefully mislead us. They spin the truth and con us into believing that what we are about to consume is elite level grub. With full awareness of our lack of education, they reel us in with false promises. Don’t bite the hook, fresh fish.
Come to my place for breakfast this Sunday. I’ll be whipping up omelets made from farm fresh eggs. Inside, you’ll discover hormone and antibiotic free chicken (diced), local bell peppers and natural sharp cheddar cheese. I’ll have a pot of premium coffee on standby. You in? Thought so.
I have another question for you. Did you know that federal law prohibits the use of hormones in our chickens? From foodandwaterwatch.org:
The labels “Raised Without Added Hormones“, “No Hormones Administered” or “No Synthetic Hormones” indicate that no synthetic hormones were given to animals. Federal law prohibits the use of hormones on hogs and poultry. The use of any hormone free label on pork and poultry products is intended to mislead consumers into thinking that the product is different and therefore worthy of a higher price.
Hahaha. I’m laughing at you…wait, I’m laughing at me, too. I’ve fallen victim to every imaginable label. All things being equal, we inherently choose the one that sounds healthier and of higher quality. Our clear aim, then, is to become well versed in the lies we’re being fed. We should wean ourselves off the phrases we’ve believed have been keeping us safe.
Now that you’re savvier about one of our Sunday items, let’s get to another, the glorious “all natural” cheese.
“Natural” does not tell us how the animals were raised, what they were fed, if antibiotics or hormones were used, or other aspects of production that consumers might logically expect from something labeled “natural.”
Okay, so natural tells us little, how about my “premium” coffee? From wisegeek.com:
Premium coffee is coffee made from uniquely flavored beans that are processed with special care.
Could that be any more vague? What the hell is a “uniquely flavored bean”? Don’t they all have a unique taste? Hmmmm. “Special care” is rather nebulous. What constitutes special is beyond subjective. I’m feeling duped and now “premium” means nothing to me.
Surely the farmer wouldn’t spin me an untruth. I can count on him. Those overalls and straw hat scream fresh. Et tu, Old Mac? From ohsnapletseat.com:
Unfortunately, unless you are literally buying the eggs from a farm or a local super market that actually sells genuine eggs from a farm, the label “farm fresh” means nothing other than it is just eggs… picked from chickens in battery cages.
Keep those cages far, far away. From now on, I’m sourcing local. I can trust the retailers. There is no chance they would mislead me. From USAtoday:
Wal-Mart, the nation’s biggest retailer, considers anything local if it’s grown in the same state as it’s sold, even if that’s a state as big as Texas and the food comes from a farm half the size of Manhattan, as in the case of the 7,000-acre Ham Produce in North Carolina.
When I was in the minor leagues, I’d drive from California to Florida for spring training. Inevitably, I’d drive across Texas. If I picked up spinach in El Paso and brought it to a friend in Beaumont, he might not be thrilled with the gift. Just a hunch.
There are some surefire ways to know the source of your food. Grow it, hunt it, raise it or catch it. Remember, it’s easier to label if it comes in a package.
See you tomorrow,