Being part of the human race, I am occasionally plagued with pet peeves. One of said pet peeves is false advertising. Before I elaborate further with my diatribe, allow me to set the scene if I may.
The Birth of a Health Nut
First, let’s get something right out in the open. Wait for it…..I am a bit of a crunchy mama aka hippie-esque, natural minded, granola. However, I was not born with this proclivity. It appeared as I matured.
While I exhibited a tiny spark of interest in my teen years after my aunt dragged us (my cousins and me) to a health food store because an acquaintance of hers had healed herself via nutrition, this flame didn’t stick around. It flickered and diet.
During my college years, I lived mainly on Top Ramen, yogurt, cereal, eggs and anything I could fix in a tiny college microwave, Hardly the picture-perfect image of a health nut.
Change of Heart
My 180-degree turn took place when double pink lines showed up on a home pregnancy test. While I was not extremely well versed in anything pregnancy and baby related. I knew enough to be certain my choices now affected another life. To say, I became — overnight — a model of perfect nutrition (is there even such a thing?) and a self-proclaimed “granola mama” would be a stretch. Although, I did buy Birkenstocks (despite my earlier proclamation that I NEVER would!).
In the course of time, under a hefty dose of watering, pruning, and feeding, my “crunchy” seed took root and bloomed quite profusely.
I have gone almost the entire gamut in my crunchy mom foray. My early years saw the birth of a food Nazi who would avoid some dinner parties in case the food was not up to her standards. Not one of my finer moments. Thankfully, in short order, common sense (and a love for non-purist foods) replaced Dogma with the utter joy and gratefulness of everyone in my circles I’m sure.
Now, I bless my food and down the hatch it goes. Yes, there are some foods I will not eat although I don’t feel the need to make a federal case out of it. These are my personal choices.
Do I always eat healthily?
I would prefer to eat 100% organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, etc. However, I don’t. There are mainly three reasons for this:
- My pocketbook at this juncture does not allow it.
- I would have to make almost everything from scratch and I don’t have a desire to.
- You gotta live a little. Life is really short and it goes by really fast.
I am also an avid label reader who will unashamedly wrinkle her nose at whatever I consider less than savory ingredients. Admittedly, I am also willing to spend more of our hard-earned money on what I consider quality products.
A Pet Peeve: False Advertising
As a crunchy individual, I also have a pet peeve. As I mentioned earlier….this pet peeve is false advertising. Although I have a laundry list of them, allow me to share two very recent examples of false advertising.
Example of False Advertising: One
Hubs and I found ourselves shopping for our family in an unfamiliar grocery store. I wanted some mayonnaise. My preference was for olive or coconut oil mayo. I scoured the shelves of the condiment aisle. Finally, my eyes fell upon “olive oil mayonnaise.”
At this juncture, I could have gleefully scooped the jar off the shelf, placed it in my cart, and crossed “mayo” off my shopping list.
I read labels.
Upon grabbing the jar and turning it to the back, I proceeded to read the ingredient list. I was utterly dismayed when my eyes rested on the first ingredient: soybean oil.
You’ve got to be kidding me!
Mayonnaise advertised in bold letters as “olive oil” mayo which in truth was regular soybean oil made with an added dollop of olive oil?
Deceptive at best, an outright lie at worst.
Example of False Advertising: Two
Another time, hubs and I found ourselves at a health food store to buy lunch meat. Once again, I searched the shelves for a satisfactory product. I selected an “all natural, no this and that and the other thing” meat which met my criteria.
Except, my inner label reader tempted and touted me and I gave in. I flipped the container over and read. Once again, my eyes stopped on a displeasing ingredient: carrageenan.
Why couldn’t turkey lunch meat simply be sliced turkey breast? Why take the time to add an ingredient of dubious safety and then charge me more for the privilege while still labeling the product as all natural?
I was disgusted.
False Advertising Upsets Me
I don’t fault anyone for not eating as I do or shopping as I do. To each his or her own. However, I do mind companies preying on their trusting customers.
Yes, some could argue, the truth is on the ingredient list if one takes the time to read it. It’s true, the ingredients are all dutifully recorded on the back in tiny prints. I happen to be one to read the back but I am sure many others do not. They trust the front of the label and in all honesty, they should be able to especially if said companies cater to crunchy individuals like me.
Sadly, even products labeled as healthy contain cheap ingredients no better than those listed on cheap grocery store brands.
Because those ingredients are cheap that’s why and apparently, so are the companies which produce them.
Labeling should be truthful.
The Truth and Nothing But…Please
While I am aware that not everyone cares and I may very well be in the minority, all dishonest labeling irks me.
Pet peeve indeed!
Anything but the whole truth is still a lie or a deception.
Basically, I have concluded that the only way to eat well is to either produce or make from scratch everything and as such become a slave to the kitchen. While I complain about the ingredients in some food, I am not — at this point — willing to make everything. Maybe I will get there someday but as of right now I am not.
I want to live and enjoy life without worrying about my meals every single day. That’s no way to live as far as I am concerned.
My pet peeve of dishonest labeling is a concern for ALL consumers not just those like me. Don’t we all want to be able to trust the companies we support with our hard earned dollars?
Proverbially speaking a spade should be called a spade. Nothing more. Nothing else.
Crunchy mama or not — truth is still golden…or it should be.
Money does speak volume, this fact is quite obvious. Maybe, I will become so bold as to contact the companies in question and let them know of my displeasure…who knows? Likewise, maybe my pet peeve of false advertising will spur me to action.
In the meantime, I will continue to read labels and put my money to good work to support companies which are worthy of my trust while decrying those which are less than truthful.