You can thank Food Network for the million of fancy ways to describe a meal. But we’re all getting smarter these days and not easily deceived by what’s before us. Here are some words on food products that you should really stop falling for.
1. “Award-Winning” wines
You don’t actually need to have an elite knowledge of wine to impress. All you need is a bottle of wine with the words “Award-Winning” on it, and you’re a total elite wine connoisseur.
However, the glamorous awards you see on wine bottles actually don’t mean much at all. In the 2017 International Wine Challenge, there were over 9,000 ‘winners’, and in other wine competitions, a majority of wine will walk away with some sort of a prize anyway. An anonymous judge has even stated that the only way a wine wouldn’t be recommended is if it makes someone retch. Many wineries also take awards they’ve won in, say, 2011 for a white wine, and put it on their 2017 bottle of red wines. Or if they failed to ‘win’ anything, they’ll even add their own suspiciously similar-looking labels.
You might as well just have this really cool thing…
It’s one cheap marketing trick that rips off more than just consumers. Wineries have to pay for the stickers hence it becomes a competition’s interests to hand out as many awards as possible. The advice is to drink what you want but not feel obligated to pay extra for something with the word ‘awards’ plastered on it… especially when you’re just pairing it you’re your Mac & Cheese.
2. “Hormone-Free” chickens
All chickens are hormone-free. But I’m sure you’ve read otherwise on BBC or naturalnewz or something. Generally, people certainly don’t want hormones in their food, hence meat companies helpfully inform us that they don’t add any. And of course, without that label, you’re just going to safely assume that you’re going to grow another ball or another pair of legs if you consume the product. But really, the USDA doesn’t actually allow hormones to be added to chicken or hogs anyway – it’s law.
3. “No Trans Fat”
Which might actually mean “…there are some trans fat”. According to the scientific consensus, trans fats are bad for you. They reduce your good cholesterol levels whilst increasing your bad cholesterol levels. So it’s a good thing really, to keep an eye out for these labels… or it would be if the products truly didn’t have trans fat. It would be like your landlord telling you that there are zero cockroaches at your rental unit. Zero. That’s pretty odd for anyone to be able provide such precise specification in the first place, no?
According to Federal Regulations, companies can use this label so long as it has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, which might not sound like much, but many food products calculate their serving size using sickly elf children in mind. The American Heart Association states that you should eat no more than 2 grams of trans fats per day, hence those phantom half grams are already a full quarter of your daily quota.
But there’s a little trick for identifying these hidden trans fat; if the products contains hydrogenated oils, it has trans fats. But since the total might come out to 0.49 grams or less, companies can say there’s none.
4. “Sushi-Grade Fish”
Many grocery stores and restaurants use this label to indicate that the ocean chicken is of the highest quality, and best when wrapped with seaweed and rice. Like you’d never think to make fish sticks with these kind of fishes. If your genitals smell like these fishes, you should be proud.
But it’s actually a really meaningless term since there are no regulations (in the U.S) that determines what can be called ‘sushi-grade’. If it’s beef, pork or poultry, the USDA is all over it, but not with fishes. “Sushi-grade fish” could basically mean either it’s really fresh! Or… the store thinks it’s reasonably fresh enough that it won’t give you parasites.
5. “Multigrain” Bread
Looking for some fancy white bread? Then get some multigrain bread. I mean, ‘multigrain’ means it’s healthy right? It has the word ‘grain’ in it. And ‘multi’ means there’s many of them! But actually they’re just high-quality poop.
It’s a great marketing term – but that’s just it. Multigrain basically means that the bread contains multiple grains – and not that any of them are actually good or healthy. Both whole wheat and white bread themselves start out as grain, and just that whole wheat has fibres and other healthy properties. Multigrain could be decently healthy, consisting or many different processed grains, but they probably have no more nutritional value than the slice of a regular white bread. Oh those little grain sprinkles on top? Yeah, they’re really nothing.
And it’s not just bread. Years ago, Pringles (yes, PRINGLES) created a line of ‘healthy’ multigrain chips, and targeted people 35 years old and above who are into the whole ‘healthy living’ thing. But right after he made his claims to The New York Times, they stated that this new and healthy Pringles actually have the same amount of sodium and calories as regular Pringles.
It’s Pringles, baby! So, who cares
Header image source here.