Memo to Nestlé. You ain't fooling me with your Whole Grain shit.
We are being bombarded with adverts at the moment about how Nestle cereals now contain whole grain. Old family favourites like Cheerios, Shreddies and Fitnesse have been rejigged to add this wholesome goodness, involving "massive R&D resources and major changes… all while maintaining taste appeal". Well thank you for your hard work, Nestle! Cynical folks might think you're just capitalising on the current Whole Grain hype and desperate to make consumers think your cereals are healthy enough to keep buying, but I know it's because you care about us so much that you would put in all that effort to give us the grain.
Yeah right. Cheerios do contain whole grains, but they also contain a whole lot of other shite that maintains that precious "taste appeal":
Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Rice, Corn Starch, Refiner’s Syrup, Corn Bran, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Colour, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Trisodium Phosphate, Monoglycerides, Tocopherols, Vitamins & Minerals: Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6) Folacin, Iron.
Whilever wholegrain is the new nutritrional wave the media choses to ride upon, companies are going to keep slapping it on their labels. It's all the rage in the States too, with Renee reporting on the new (baked with) 100% Whole Grain Chips Ahoy! Still loaded with fat and sugar with only marginally less calories than the original, these cookies were launched AT AN OBESITY CONFERENCE.
Meanwhile, the Wonder Bread folks have come out with a Wonder Bread Whole Grain White loaf, designed to appeal to Mums who want to give their kidlets whole grains but know their little bastards would refuse to eat grains. Now how the hell do you get a whole grain white loaf? From the article linked above:
Marion Nestle, a nutritionist at New York University, says the long list of dough conditioners necessary to give the new Wonder Bread its distinctive soft, mushy texture means it's hardly bread at all. "Bread is flour, water, yeast, salt. Period. This has something like 20 other ingredients. … Why not buy your kids real bread?"
It shits me no end that food companies are allowed to put such misleading claims on their products. Did you know a can of Heinz Baked Beans counts as one of your 5-A-Day vegetable portions? Never mind all the sugar and salt and whatnots they're swimming in. By this logic I may as well say ice cream is good for me because it contains calcium. These food labels may be technically true, but they can be grossly misleading. It makes things even more confusing for the average consumer who is already overwhelmed by choice and the latest health trends. Joe Bloggs of Lancashire might see Gillian Crackpot McKeith singing the praises of wholegains on the telly, so he goes to the supermarket and spies those Whole Grain Cheerios and think, "Rightio! That's the ticket!", and ends up sitting down to a bowl of wholegrain sugar and chemicals.
As usual, food manufacturers (and some media) are distorting what is actually sound nutritional advice. Whole grains ARE extremely good for you. But whole grains are pure, cheap and unprocessed – a bag of quinoa or barley is just some grainy stuff in a bag. That's not very exciting to the food manufacturers; where's the money in that? So they have to fiddle with their existing processed shite products to make them fit into the latest trend. Just as they did for the Low Fat trend of the 80s, and the Low Carb shebang of recent years. Low Fat and Low Carb were also good dietary concepts – a healthy diet should be low in saturated fat and low in refined carbs. But this translated into Fat Free Ice Cream and Carb Free Pasta which totally distorted the original ideas and simply ended up feeding us whole lot of shitty food full of chemicals and sugar.
I guess all we can do is learn how to read nutritional info panels on the back of the box, and ignore the brightly-coloured starburst exclamation marked!!! propaganda on the front. There is some good info here if you want to know more about what the hell wholegrains are, even though Nestlé are behind the site.
Okay, time to climb down from my hydrogenated high horse.
. . .
Are you sick of coming to this page and never seeing an update? Are you tired of my endless journey and find yourself wondering if I'll ever get there? Or are you just looking for a way to waste more hours on the internet? Well help is here, because I am going to tell you about a few of my favourite reads. I know I have a bazillion links on the sidebar but thought I'd highlight a couple that have been particularly inspiring for me lately. Not say the others aren't inspiring, but these are simply the blogs du jour. So don't get pouty.
- Beverly lost over 180lb (can't remember exact number) a few years back and has kept it off. Her blog is now mostly focused on her day-to-day life now, but she has written some real gems about what it's like to lose a megaload of weight. This entry in particular got me all hiccuppy and sad yet so happy that someone understands.
- I love love love the Born Again Gym Bunny. It's great when you find a blog you can really relate to – YP has lost a lot of weight, is around my weight now, exercises like a mofo, and lives in the UK! Best of all she is a runner extraordinaire and just did her first 10k. Stalking my way through her archives these past few days has been like a kick up the pants for me, remembering how simple hard work and CONSISTENCY bring fantastic results. I feel completely inspired and fired up now, which I really need before I leave for Australia. I am determined not to gain an assload of weight over there so I can come home and blitz off the rest. So thank you, Ms Bunny.
There are bazillions more but I will shut up for today. I am just glad that after all these years it is still so easy to find inspiration. It keeps me away from the vending machine, I tells ya.
I will probably squeeze in one more entry before we leave on Friday, and will sneak some in while we're away, so if you want to be informed of the dribbles of new content round here, don't forget you can join the Notify List or subscribe to my site feed. The links are there on the right. Woohoo!