How Food Packaging Is Misleading
For instance, let’s take Froot Loops, a popular breakfast cereal. The packaging says it is “made with whole grain and a source of fibre,” plus it is blessed with having “natural fruit flavours.” I have often wondered how or what could be natural about brightly coloured lifesaver shaped cereal that appears to be coated in sugar. It’s paradoxical to me so I decided to buy a box to experience the ‘natural fruit flavour’ taste.
Full disclosure, I do not eat cereal. I overdosed on the stuff as a kid, but for this paradoxical experiment I was willing to chow down on some.
I poured the breakfast cereal into a white round bowl and I must admit, they were colourful, like the rainbow – orange, rose, natural (or was that yellow) and green.
First I tried the green loop. I’m not sure what flavour green was trying to be, it was kinda like me trying to grow vegetables and not quite succeeding but getting an E for effort (good try green!)
The rose was faintly like cherry. I was hoping the purple would be grape (my favourite flavour), but it was like opening up a birthday present expecting money but getting a t-shirt…a slight disappointment (nice attempt purple!)
The orange was the definite winner with the most flavour. The yellow? Well, it reminded me of a distant memory, one you just can’t quite recall. It had a slight lingering taste of lemon (keep trying yellow!)
But, to be honest, they mostly tasted like sugar. Because I have a sweet tooth, I kept eating them under the guise I was tasting for “natural fruit flavours.” After many spoonfuls I quickly realized why my kids would eat so many bowls of cereal in the morning. It’s hard to stop.
What Does Natural Fruit Flavour Mean?
So what exactly is a natural fruit flavour? I phoned Kellogg’s and asked if they used actual fruit in Froot Loops (obvious question, right?) I was told that, they do not take the natural fruit from a particular fruit. Natural fruit flavour is not the equivalent to natural fruit. They make the flavour from natural ingredients but not the fruit itself. Shucks! I thought they were using real fruit to flavour the loops. This explains the curious flavours I tasted.
How Much Sugar Is In A Bowl Of Froot Loops?
So how much sugar is in a bowl of froot loops I wondered? I measured out 1 1/2 cups of cereal, which is what I would eat, however, the package states that is 2 servings (one serving is 3/4 cup…hard to believe!) The 2 servings has the equivalent of 6 teaspoons of sugar or 24 grams. Could you imagine spooning in 6 teaspoons of sugar into your morning coffee? If I did that, I’d be so wired my husband would have to lock me in the bathroom until I stopped talking!
After searching the infinite information site, Google, I learnt that my daily limit of sugar was 6 teaspoons. This means, all my daily sugar fun would end after 1 bowl of morning cereal. Dang! Are the loops worth all my daily fun? I don’t think so. I’m going to stick with porridge and enjoy its true natural flavour with a sprinkle of brown sugar because then I know I won’t overdose on my allowable sugar rations first thing in the morning.
I’ve come to believe that just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge food by its package.