Awesome reader Karen sent me an article about healthy foods in schools that I will do a blog on later. Today I want to focus on one piece of it and that is that in order to be healthier, the schools were only offering low-fat and fat-free options.
While of course I still think it’s monumentally stupid to be against obese children instead of for healthy ones, today I want to discuss how healthy these low fat and fat free options really are.
Let’s do some comparison shopping:
Ingredient for Regular Sour Cream: Grade A Cultured Cream
Ingredients for Fat Free Sour Cream: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Fat Free Milk and Cream, Modified Corn Starch,Grade A Nonfat Dry Milk, Gelatin, Propylene Glycol Esters, Artificial Color, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Phosphate, Agar, Sodium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate.
I find it very difficult to believe that all of those chemicals are healthier than just eating Grade A Cultured Cream. How and why did they modify Corn Starch? Propylene Glycol Esters? What the hell?
Let’s look at cookies:
Newman’s Own Creme Filled Cookies: Organic Unbleached Flour, Organic Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Organic Palm Oil, Canola Oil, Organic cocoa, Cocoa, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Sodium Bicoarbonate, Soy Lecithin.
Snackwells Creme Cookies: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid) Sugar, Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Canola, Soybean, and/or Cottonseed Oils), Dextrose, Corn Flour, Glycerin, Whey, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Leavening (Baking Soda, Calcium Phosphate), Cornstarch, Emulsifiers (Datem, Mono- and DiGlycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate), salt, Wheat Starch, Cellulose Gum and Gel, Natural and Artificial Flavor.
The part where they say “partially hydrogenated canola, soybean, and/or cottonseed oils” I find particularly charming. What do you mean “and/or”? If you don’t know what’s in these cookies then who the hell does?
And the prize for ingesting all of that crap? 20 calories and 2 grams of fat less than the version that doesn’t contain Datem, Mono- and DiGlycerides and Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate. Pass.
I once saw salad dressing that was “No calories, fat, carbs, gluten or sugar”. Ok, anything that makes that claim and isn’t AIR or WATER doesn’t pass my test for being something that goes in my body.
Look, I’m happy for people to eat whatever they want, but when I hear that schools are taking away all of the options except those filled with manufactured chemicals and devoid of actual food, I have to wonder how strong the fat free foods lobby is and who is REALLY looking out kids’ health.
As for me and my house, we will eat real food.