Like many families, we took our kids Trick or Treating last night for Halloween.
The rule in our house is that a few pieces can be saved at the end of the evening with the rest going to the dentist who will buy them for a dollar per pound.
This is not the same dentist, by the way, as the one I wrote about who gave me a gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts as a thank you for referral business, in case you were wondering.
To me, Halloween offers parents an opportunity to teach kids balance when it comes to handling the constant onslaught of junk food that surrounds them in our processed food addicted culture.
Allowing them to enjoy a favorite treat but encouraging them not to overindulge and embrace moderation can prove a helpful life lesson once they are away from a home that serves nourishing meals and they are in charge of making decisions about what they will eat each and every day.
Who would have thought that another lesson in the advertising tricks of Big Food would also come our way on Halloween night?
As it turns out, my kids also received bags of chips instead of candy from some of the homes they visited.
As my kids were going through the spoils at the end of the night, one of them inquired as to why one of the bags of chips was labeled “Wise” when the ingredients were most definitely not.
The ingredients on this Wise brand bag of plain potato chips contained the following:
Potatoes, vegetable oil (one or more of: corn, cottonseed, sunflower, soybean, or canola oil), salt.
First of all, the oils listed are all polyunsaturated. These delicate oils are severely damaged and rendered toxic when you cook them at the high temperatures required to fry potato chips.
In addition, frying of any starch creates acrylamide, a carcinogen that can be very dangerous to health when consumed in the high levels of the typical American diet loaded with refined carbohydrates.
Not a whole lot that is Wise about those chips at all, is there?
I nodded and told my kids that this observation was brilliant and right on. Just because a product is labeled natural or wise doesn’t make it so.
Warning to Big Food: The next generation is on to you. They won’t be as trusting and swallow your misleading marketing lingo hook, line, and sinker like the Baby Boomers. Your days of market dominance are numbered.