Fat Free

I’m not usually a label reader, but nutritional labels are an insight into the relationship between large agribusiness and the government.  “healthy” became a buzz word about 20 years ago.  Since then, companies have tried very hard to change their product lines to match healthier eating trends.  A product that doesn’t have a healthy alternative isn’t really a barrier to adding it to the company’s health line.  Take PAM as an example.  PAM is a non stick spray that you use to keep eggs, etc from sticking to a pan.  The spray is almost 100% fat, that’s how it gives you a non stick surface to cook on.  The catch is this… Fat Free PAM is also mostly fat, it just has different nutritional labeling.  In order to call something “fat Free” there has to be less than .5 grams of fat in each serving.  If you look at the label on a can of fat free pam, you’ll find that the serving size is .25 grams.  There isn’t a half gram of anything in a quarter gram serving size, so they can claim that the product is fat free.

I find it ironic that the regulations intended to protect us from fraud allow this kind of duplicity.  It’s not even fraud, because the label follows the regulations to the letter, just not the spirit of the law.  Your only recourse is to get a chemistry degree so you can properly analyze the labels.  That’s what the companies call an informed consumer, and they make the worst customers.


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