In Which Your Gentle Narrator Loses Faith in the Universe

September 7th, 2009  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  6 Comments

Yesterday I was in the grocery store. A package caught my eye. I picked it up and examined it. It was baby food. Across the front, in big letters: HEALTHY BLUEBERRY PUREE.

The substance actually resembled Rice Krispies. It wasn’t blue in the least, which indicates a somewhat minor contribution from blueberries. Ingredients? Wheat flour, sugar, rice starch, soy lecithin, sodium, 3 preservatives. Last and surely least, blueberry puree. Yes, blueberry puree probably accounted for about 0.1% of this abomination. Basically, this was baby Froot Loops.

WHAT KIND OF ASSHOLE PURPOSELY FEEDS SUGAR TO BABIES!? And pretends it’s healthy? I hope every food company executive responsible for this gets a horrible genital rash and ingrown eyelashes.

Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    September 7th, 2009at 2:21 pm(#)

    What kind of education system graduates people without any clue about basic life skills such as reading ingredient labels? What kind of prenatal class provides every last scrap of research showing breastfeeding is good, but fails to give even a meager warning about the crap in baby food? What kind of pediatrician asks “how’s her iron intake?” at six months (pah) without saying boo about the quantity of crap cheerios the kid is ingesting?

    Problem is, our food systems have been messed up long enough now that even traditional fonts of advice on child-feeding (ie, grannies) have been co-opted by the powers that be. So unless a parent is fortunate enough to have a university education, higher-than-average literacy, a childhood that involved at least decent nutrition, an interest in food and a questioning mind, the kid is probably screwed because these are the products shoved in front of parents, and in the absence of critical thinking, authoritative nay-saying and knowledge, they’re going to be fed to children. The producers of such crap SHOULD of course rot in hell, but last I checked this was a democracy, and if people actually cared about marketing anything with sugar in it to children under the age of 10, it would be illegal by now. I have heard nary a peep in that direction.

  2. Michelle says:

    September 7th, 2009at 6:12 pm(#)

    Crikey!
    I got the impression from Marion Nestle’s books that this sort of thing had been outlawe in the US. I thought your Canadian lawmakers where at least up with that. Shame.

  3. Trishy says:

    September 8th, 2009at 8:57 am(#)

    Actually, Sarah, there are peeps in that direction. There is an interesting dichotomy going on in commercials aimed at children (i.e. the ones playing during cartoons). Some are advertising sugary snacks, while others are encouraging kids to eat healthy … I wonder which one of those messages is winning out. I guess that depends on the parents. I know there is talk about legislation to mandate lower sodium levels in food, and I think sugar may be the next target. Unfortunately, these mandates become exercises in chemistry instead of encouraging healthy eating, since the food scientists are told by their employers to synthesize flavor additives that impart salty taste without using actual salt. We’ve already seen this with sugar: reduced sugar foods aren’t less sweet, they just have artificial sweeteners to replace the real stuff, which doesn’t accomplish a whole lot. That is what legislation aimed at mandating lower sugar levels in kids’ foods would likely accomplish too. So basically we trade diabetes for cancer.

  4. Sarah says:

    September 9th, 2009at 10:55 am(#)

    Yeah, you’re probably right, Trishy. I guess the *real* problem is that food is an industry, plain and simple. The mandate of the industry is not to develop or maintain health, it’s to sell stuff. And also that the industry was built around commodity crops – wheat, corn, sugar – that are now produced in excess, and that excess needs someplace to go… the bellies of innocent children seems like a good place to dump it, I suppose. Gah. In that context, maybe sugar (real sugar, not HFCS) IS the lesser of several evils.

    But still, there ought to be a countermeasure somewhere. For an educated eater, the choice is NOT between sugar, salt and artificial crap – it’s between industrial processed food and real food. It is entirely possible to feed a child without ever venturing into the middle aisles of the supermarket. The only reason more people don’t do this is because they have never been taught that they should care.

  5. Trishy says:

    September 14th, 2009at 11:08 am(#)

    Agreed. I think a lot of parents don’t even realize the harm they are doing by their food choices. When myself and my siblings were growing up, HFCS wasn’t in everything and you could buy cereal that didn’t have a gazilion grams of sugar per serving. So my sister buys stuff for her kids that we used to eat, not realizing that the food has changed. When I encouraged her to read the labels, she was horrified and now is a lot stricter about what she buys for them. I realize some people just don’t care, but others probably don’t even know. The only “healthy eating” commercials that parents see are advertising Lean Cuisine and other garbage like that.

  6. witeowl says:

    September 17th, 2009at 10:24 pm(#)

    Could your thumb have been over the “un”, as in “UNhealthy blueberry puree”? Guess not. That is absolutely awful. It’s one thing to choose crap for yourself, but to feed it to babies, whether purposefully, out of ignorance, or out of laziness, is indeed shameful. I’ll one-up you and hope that the executive responsible for this gets a horrible genital rash ON his/her ingrown eyelashes.


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