Reading is FUNdamental

standard nutrition label

Does anyone else remember the commercials from back in the day where they would say, “Reading is fundamental!” at the end? That’s about all i can recall of the commercial…and no, reading has NOT been FUNdamental for me. I choose to read only for educational reasons, not for pleasure. With very few exceptions.
As usual, this isn’t about that.
For the time being, “reading is fundamental” is about nutrition labels. We’ve all seen them in the stores, right? Turn the fancy package sideways and there it is: the nutrition label. Did you know that there is movement afoot to change the label? I didn’t, either, until i went to the FDA website to lift an image of a nutrition label. Link here (reading is fundamental, remember?). My wife Tracey and I were grocery shopping yesterday, and as I like to do sometimes, I read the nutrition labels of some products that I hadn’t seen before, just to see what they were all about. In yesterday’s adventure, I picked up a package of Kodiak Cakes “granola unleashed” (I am not at all affiliated with this company). The packaging seems tough and rugged. The use of brown tones leads me to believe that they are a nature-conscious company that values Earth and it’s inhabitants. Seems legit, right?
On the shelf right below the granola were the packages of eight small boxes of the ‘forbidden’ cereals. The ones which, as a child, I was only allowed to eat when I stayed with my grandparents during the summer. We’d go to the grocery store and my Dziadziu (ja-ju) would let me pick them out. Now, as a health-conscious adult with a hand in the fitness biz (small, nervously-clammy hand…), I shun these products. “WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR!” I would say, or “LOOKIT THOSE CHEMICALS!”
I turned both packages around to compare labels. I was in for a bit of a shock…

A.J. Nutrition Facts
A.J. Nutrition Facts
Can you read the Apple Jacks label? TEN (10) grams of sugar!! OUTRAGE! Total Calories is 100. Without using Common Core Math, I can tell you that this equates to an UNACCEPTABLE amount of sugar.
Granola Facts
Granola Facts
Here, for comparison, is the ‘Earth friendly’ (my term, not theirs) granola. WHAAAT???? FOURTEEN GRAMS OF THE DEVIL’S DANDRUFF!!! (again, my term, not theirs). HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???? Total Calories is a WHOPPING 250!!! Comparing other parts of the label sent me into such a spiral that I abandoned both packages and made a bee line for the produce section.
Lesson here?
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL. READ the labels. COMPARE foods. Don’t just buy an item because it has packaging that SEEMS to be in line with your values.
Now, go forth and be wikkid smaht.

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