My research last month primarily consisted of food labels. I struggeled to answer: How do I write about food labels in a way kids can understand if I don’t understand them myself? I swam the sea of labels for one month. The further into the water I plunged the angrier I became. It seemed as though I was going in circles, which was confirmed as the eye of the storm. I am going to post on food labels and deceptive practices first.
It is my opinion that processed macaroni and cheese may be one of the unhealthiest items we feed our children (Not mine, he is allergic to dairy). We have all seen cereal boxes with food label facts that compare the dry cereal to cereal with milk. They are side my side and answer the questions to make help your decision quickly. Well in steps macaroni and cheese…
There is an * which leads to the bottom where you add calories, fat, what have you to the information above. That is correct, add. Lazy Mom does not have time to pull up the calculator on her phone and do math in the store. The lady behind me sighing (Because we don’t say excuse me anymore. Other people’s existence has evidently become a nuisance). It is this scenario the food company is banking on. You will either look only at the top and think “100 calories, WOW!” or you will say “120 plus 390 is…Ah screw it.” and buy it anyway.
Let’s be realistic. I am not going to eat only the contents of the box. Mmmmmm noodles and gritty powder, yum. I have to add the milk and margarine they ask for. So why aren’t they upfront with the Nutrition Facts? I added up the food label components to reflect prepared macaroni and cheese, because I was paid to, and guess what quadrupled. Yep, now our macaroni and cheese is over 400 calories per serving. BUT I’m not done yet.
NOW there is trans fat. Artery clogging, heart stopping trans fat. Saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium up the wazzu. If that isn’t enough I found some alarming information regarding the ingredients list during my research. The yellow dyes 5 and 6 are under question as they come with risks to children including hyperactivity, allergies and cancer. I guess in the UK the food label is required to have the following information on the box: “This product may have adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” If that weren’t enough, the label also states: “GMO declaration: Made from genetically modified wheat”. It is the same box on US shelves, but we do not require warnings on products that contribute to ADD and a full ward at St. Judes.
Lazy Mom doesn’t say macaroni and cheese is bad. There are other products on the shelves (free of dyes, trans fat, and GMOs) if you are feeling as lazy as I pick those up instead. Or, if you want some really good macaroni and cheese there is a fantastic recipe on a can of cheddar cheese soup. Just please stop feeding your children ADD foods which deceptively make you add.