It’s our own fault. We alone are responsible for our own stupidity. We can’t expect big business to have our best interests in mind, nor expect the media to stop ringing the all-in-one Salt-Is-Bad! Fat-Is-Bad! alarm bells. Big companies want to sell us their goods any way they can. If they can take advantage of our confusion about how to eat, they will, rubbing their hands and chuckling with delight. The New York Times editorial page can rail against such practices (as it did elegantly here), but that’s not going to change anything. What will change big business is the consumer. But not until we start paying attention, not until we get smart.
Here’s a start: Don’t believe any claims you read on packages, period, even seemingly objective ones like the above, just stating a fact. Look at any claim to a food’s being “good” for you as a huge red flag. “Proven to reduce Cholesterol!” “Reduces the risk of heart disease!” Danger, Will Robinson!
The above is a perfect example, brought into our household by Donna, who agrees she ought to have known better. Land O’Lakes is exploiting America’s knee-jerk fat-is-bad paranoia to sell us skim milk thickened with sugar and other additives. They even have to add color.
Think about it. Half and half is a product defined by its fat content. It’s half and half, half milk, half cream. Fat is what makes it good! Fat is what makes it useful! Doesn’t it make you wonder then, shouldn’t you halt in your tracks and ask yourself what the heck is this stuff if there’s no fat in it? Because it’s not half and half. It’s granny with wolf’s teeth. It a lie. And we buy in over and over again in a million forms.
I don’t blame Land O’Lakes ad agency. They even appear to be a giant member-owned co-op, not some greedy multinational like Kraft, from who we expect such deceit. I blame us for being stupid. It’s our own damned fault. We need to stop paying for lies and start paying more attention to what we’re eating.