Photo (cc) by Robert Banh
Wise Onion Rings are round like onion rings and even taste somewhat like the real thing, but, “as for real onions, a company rep said there aren’t any,” says Consumer Reports.
And though Mrs. Butterworth’s Original Syrup used to be made with butter, there’s no butter in it now.
These are among the “food fake-outs” in a new CR report. Some are surprising and others are perhaps merely a confirmation about what we’d already guessed. Come on: You didn’t really think there was any bacon in McCormick Bac’n Pieces, did you? On the other hand, CR points out, these tasty bits are cholesterol-free.
Among the foods on their list:
- Tang. “Natural” flavor is only 2 percent of the total ingredients. No surprise there either.
- Mrs. Butterworth. “Today’s version lists high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, salt, cellulose gum (a thickener), and molasses before a generic reference to ‘natural and artificial’ flavor,” CR says.
- Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats Blueberry. It doesn’t contain blueberries, despite what the package suggests.
What can you take away from this? Don’t trust the image or the words on food packages.
Instead, read the ingredients. I tend to stay away from foods that contain things that sound more like a chemistry experiment than something you’d want to ingest.
Also, pay attention to the words chosen, CR says. A potato “chip” has to be a slice of potato under Food and Drug Administration rules, but a potato “crisp” can be something else. (In all fairness, if you look closely, you’ll see that the Wise package says “Onion Flavored Rings.”)
Do you think food manufacturers should be held to a tighter set of standards when marketing their products? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.