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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Food Companies Fake Their Blueberries, in cereals, muffins, bagels and other food products and Lie to Consumers

From Change.org

When folks bite into a blueberry muffin, breakfast bar, or cereal, most expect to eat, well, actual blueberries. But if these consumers bought foods from General Mills, Target, Betty Crocker, or Kellogg's, they likely chowed down on some faux fruit.

Mike Adams, aka the "Health Ranger," recently conducted a blueberry investigation for FoodInvestigations.com, a Web site produced by the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center. He found that many blueberry-flavored products from major food producers fail to offer any real berries — or the antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber these fruits contain. Instead, manufacturers stuff their blueberry breakfast bars, cereals, muffins, and other goods with a brew of hydrogenated oils, sweeteners, and synthetic food dyes. We all know truth in advertising is a sham, but this blueberry business is downright deceptive and dangerous.

"A lot of products that imply they're made with blueberries contain no blueberries at all," Adams says in his video. "And many that do contain a tiny amount of blueberry cut their recipes with artificial blueberry ingredients to make it look like their products contain more blueberries than they actually do."

Take Target's Blueberry Bagels. The breakfast staples may look like they come stuffed with berries, but those blue dots really consist of sugar, corn cereal, modified food starch, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, artificial flavor, cellulose gum, salt, Blue 2, Red 40, Green 3, and Blue 1. Kellogg's Blueberry Pop Tarts? Sure, they contain a few actual berries, but the bulk of the "blueberry" comes from high fructose corn syrup, Red 40, Blue 1, and Blue 2.

One of the most egregiously deceptive blueberry products is Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats Blueberry Muffin cereal. The box boasts an image of real blueberries, leading the consumer to believe that the breakfast dish provides a healthy dose of actual fruit. In reality, the box only offers something the company calls "blueberry-flavored crunchlets" (yes, it literally says "crunchlet"). These "crunchlets" are made up of sugars, soybean oil, Red 40, and Blue 2. Folks think they're chowing down on a morning meal packed with vitamins and antioxidants — read the fine print and it's clear these dishes offer little more than sugar, calories, and petrochemicals.

What's worse is that this type of marketing is not only deceptive; it's downright dangerous. Synthetic food dyes — which most blueberry products from Kellogg's, Target, General Mills, and Betty Crocker contain — are associated with health problems like hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and even cancer. Partially hydrogenated oils often contain trans fats, which can cause clogged arteries and heart disease. And sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup come packed with empty calories, contributing heavily to America's obesity epidemic. All this junk from products that bill themselves as foods loaded with "healthy" blueberries.

Consumers can help guard themselves from this deceptive marketing by taking the extra time to read the fine print — check the back of the package for the full nutrition info before putting any blueberry-filled food in your cart. But what we really need is to take these companies to task for their misleading advertising. If shoppers use their purchasing power and collective voices to demand better, eventually food producers will have no choice but to cave to consumer pressure.

Let's start with Kellogg's, one of the worst faux blueberry offenders. Sign our petition telling the company that if it says a product is blueberry-flavored, it must only get this color and flavoring from actual fruit.

To see the full investigation visit the Link from Naturalnews.tv


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