Downtown Bangkok, Thailand at dusk.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Bangkok, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Do you read the labels?

Marketing food is an interesting thing. Ever since we told you about honey we've noticed things a little more. We always read the labels, but now we notice the marketing on the front a little more. Do you read the labels when grocery shopping? And I'm not talking just the label on the front...the label on the back is the most important one!

Here's a prime example.

Last year, we were in a grocery store in the beautiful tourist town of Poprad, Slovakia. Wandering the aisles, looking at the items in a strange language, we came across something that stood out. A bottle of maple syrup! And it was from Canada! How strange was that??

Sure looks like maple syrup, doesn't it??

They do everything they can to try and tell you on the front label that it's pure maple syrup. It's from Canada, it's "natural", there are "no preservatives", it's "original". It's even got a bilingual label so that the French can get sucked in too!

And then, because you're a wise grocery shopper, you have a look at the label on the reverse too...

Have a look at the ingredients!

Did you know that ingredients are listed in the order of which there is most of? First thing here is "sugar"!! Then water, then they actually really did put some maple syrup in there, along with some natural maple flavoring. But, it really is Natural Original Canadian Syrup as the marketing says it is, isn't it? 

 What a scam. 

Ruth came across a funny (not really!) explanation of marketing terms when it come to food labels...and what they really mean!

1) No Sugar Added: 

 Instead, we have added a variety of sweet tasting carcinogenic chemicals.

2) Artificial Flavoring: 

A horrible mix of chemicals that will trick your brain into thinking you're eating something you're not.

3) Natural Flavoring:

A tiny drop of lemon juice added to the chemical crap listed in item two.

4) Low Fat:

Instead of fat, we have added a chemical cocktail that is worse for you than fat ever was. If it says "No Fat" or "Fat Free", we have removed all goodness that ever existed in the product.

5) An essential source of vitamins and minerals:

We have had to add a salad of vitamins and minerals that were removed when we zapped all the goodness out of your food, in order to hide the rest of the garbage we are feeding you and your children.

And it's pretty much true. 

Remember, you are what you eat...


  1. We always check labels...we have been on sugar busters for some time now...Fat in foods does not make you fat so food low in fat is just hype! Sugar and refined carbohydrates are the fat makers!

    1. Interesting. Never heard of "sugar busters" before. I googled the phrase, and it turns out that "sugar busters" is just a combination of eating sensibly and getting a good amount of exercise.

      I guess we have been on "sugar busters" our whole lives and didn't even know it!

  2. This is another reason I am vegan and cook from scratch. Very rarely buy processed foods.

    1. I am gluten free so we are much the same but even before that I cooked mostly from scratch.

  3. With all my food sensitivities and Gordon's celiac disease I have been reading labels for 14 years or more.The food producers are doing what they can to make sure we're all fat, unhealthy and die early!

    1. I like the way they try to make you think things are healthly like drinking Sunny D where they say that you get your day's supply of vitamin C but if you don't read the label you would never suspect that the ingredients are Water, High fructose corn syrup, and less than 2% concentrated juices.

  4. I always read labels on the food products we buy. I especially look for items high in preservatives, we're at the age where we need all the preservatives we can get! ;c)

  5. Yes, I read labels - and it's very frustrating at times when comparing two or three products next to each other. The volume, weight, ingredients, etc. are presented in such a way that one has to be a mathematician and a scientist to be sure they're choosing the one that's BEST for them.
    "Sugar Busters" is a diet book; the advice within is logical - and good too.
    Yes, we do have choices and I guess we could say we are what we eat. But, I think we get off base - for instance taking gelatin capsules DOES NOT guarantee that one's fingernails will become instantaneously strong and grow long. Oh, I feel a rant coming on - better stop!

    1. They don't make shopping an easy task anymore.

  6. We purchase very few processed foods and doo read the labels on pretty well everything we buy. Like you said they can be very misleading.

  7. Yes I read labels and have for years and years.

    1. So have we and we will continue to do so. We even do it in Mexico, which can be a little more difficult at times.

  8. I would not doubt that someday food producers will be owned by big pharma companies... not unlike Monsanto owning herbicides. What better business model than to offer a 'cure' for the ailment you helped created?!?!

    1. Yep, that is what Kevin and I said to each other when we found out that Bayer made instecticides and pesticides. I had always only thought of them as a pharmaceutical maker.


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