Misleading Marketing Terms by Aubree Steen, FNTP
What Draws Us in?
Ahhh… it’s almost impossible to resist the enticing colors, graphics, and slogans on the packaged food in our grocery stores. The corporations responsible for drawing as in are dang good at it, and it’s their job to use marketing and advertising to deceive us into thinking packaged food is on a pedestal. With all the “added vitamins” and claims such as “gluten free”, “vegan,” “your daily amount of fiber in one serving,” we are given the assumption that unpackaged, unprocessed food is simply inferior.
You Mean I Was Deceived?
To be fair, the faces behind this marketing and advertising are paid to make you feel deceived and draw you in. With the constant bombardment of lifestyle trends, “diets”, and ways of eating (keto, vegan, carnivore, etc.), we are all left confused and bewildered at trying to figure out what we actually need. When packaged food claims to supply us with all of the nutrients we need plus more, it’s almost a no-brainer for us to just blindly listen. After all, we have our family to take care of, our job to work, and our own hectic schedule to manage. Leaving these decisions in the hands of the food “professionals”, who are mostly portrayed as brilliant scientists/chemists, gives us the ability to surrender and let someone else make those decisions for us. However, we don’t realize that added vitamins and minerals, preservatives, toxic chemicals, hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, artificial and natural flavors (which are the same thing – I’ll dive into this later), and other stabilizers are being added to our food. Nutrients are depleted during the processing. The food is started to look like food, but falsely resemble it. It’s quite heartbreaking, actually.
How am I Supposed to Know What to Eat?
How are we supposed to know what’s healthy and safe to eat, or what could be contributing to our ill health? That’s what we’re here for. Misleading health claims on packaged foods are designed in order to catch your attention and convince you that the product you’re eating is healthy. It’s a bit ironic seeing advertising needing to convince you that something you’re eating is healthy. You don’t see billboards, commercials, or mass advertisements for fresh produce, do you? Let’s take a look at the most common marketing terms for packaged foods, and decipher it a bit.
There are terms designed to confused us and mislead, mostly seen as, “light, no added sugar, low calorie, low fat, low carb, fortified/enriched, gluten free, GMO free, high fiber, heavy metal free, natural flavors, organic, etc.”