My frozen peas are “gluten free”. My dark chocolate is “bursting with antioxidants”. My eggs are “all natural”. (I used to buy the unnatural eggs but after I found a baby woodchuck in one I switched.) My totally-not-healthy-in-any-way licorice is “fat free”. My yogurt is “now with probiotics”. (Um, what were they using before? Camel urine?) And, my personal fave, my bananas are a “superfood”. Seriously marketers? Stop it. When my banana sprouts a cape and saves my toddler from a speeding train then you can slap a superfood sticker on it.
Simplify: Foods that come without labels – usually produce, bananas notwithstanding, and fresh meats and seafood – are generally the healthiest foods out there. As for foods with labels, I find it works much better if I ignore all the hype in big letters on the front and just look at the nutritional facts on the back. Twenty three grams of sugar in a yogurt? You can keep your probiotics, thanks. While I wish that food marketers would be more honest in their labeling – all my peas better be gluten free – that’s probably as likely to happen as Lindsay Lohan staying sober so in the meantime I just take it all with an iodized grain of salt (“iodide is a necessary nutrient!”).