Move over, “Where’s the beef?” lady.
The new question is…
“Where the heck are the blueberries?”
In case you haven’t noticed, blueberries are the hot new superfood (due to their high content of antioxidants, phytoflavonoids, potassium, vitamin C, and memory-preserving phosphatidylserine). As a result, more than 1,000 new food products containing blueberries hit your supermarket shelves last year.
There’s just one problem…
That’s right, a surprising percentage of these products don’t contain any blueberries at all. They’re masquerading as the real thing by featuring gorgeous, plump blueberry images on their packaging and even using the word “blueberry” in their title. But if you flip the box over and glance at the ingredients label, there are no blueberries listed under the ingredients heading. None.
What you will find are such terms as “blueberry crunchlets” … “artificial flavor bits” … and other lab-created fakery constructed of liquid sugar, petrochemical-sourced food coloring, and hydrogenated oil.
Where’s the USDA and FDA?
They’re too busy suing the Pom Wonderful people for publishing clinical research showing that the antioxidants in pomegranate juice fights heart disease. (Heresy, right?)
Meanwhile, the bogus blueberry hucksters are raking in a small fortune by fooling shoppers into thinking their junky products are “healthful.”
But we’re not about to let them get away with it. So here’s a rogue’s gallery of the worst offenders:
Kellogg’s Blueberry Muffin Frosted Mini-Wheats
Kellogg’s Blueberry Pop Tarts
General Mills’ Total Blueberry-Pomegranate Cereal (contains neither blueberry nor pomegranate)
Red (-faced) Target Practice:
Target Market Pantry Blueberry Bagels
What a Crock:
Betty Crocker’s Fiber 1 Blueberry Muffin Mix
And I could keep going!
This is just the tip of the iceberg lettuce. The faux food epidemic is running rampant in your supermarket aisles — and your only defense is to stick to whole, unprocessed foods … to shop at natural groceries with strict standards … and to read food labels as if your life depended on it (because it really does!).
In Europe, processed food manufacturers are required to disclose the percentage of real, natural ingredients in their products.
For instance, Apple Nutri-Grain bars packaging in Europe is forced to own up to the fact that the bars are only 5% apple. Here in the US? Not an issue.
Food manufacturers are even substituting foods. Curves Strawberries and Cream Chewy Granola Bars don’t contain strawberries, but they do contain cranberries. “Blueberry crunchlets” and “blueberry bits” are not only NOT blueberries — they’re really bad for your health.
It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature
Big food companies say it’s impossible to actually include the natural foods they claim to deliver inside their colorful, enticing, high-priced boxes. But brands with integrity, like Nature’s Path and Health Valley, manage to do it just fine. Not only do their products contain blueberries — but they’re even organic.
So forget the bogus blueberry junk foods and choose the real McCoy instead.
Since we’re heading into summer, pick up some fresh, locally grown blueberries at your neighborhood farmer’s market.
And while you’re at it, stock up while the seasonal price is rock bottom and freeze them for winter (when the prices are sky-high).
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