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Apr
10
2017
Apr 10, 2017
Posted in: Thoughts

thingsthatwedo.com pic - pipe cleaners

I try to be a label reader. I really do. Generally, I like to pick up a product and read its label before I plunk it into my shopping cart. I know money is hard to come by. We all know that.

Is it easy to read labels though?

I’m not so sure.

Let’s do a little exercise, shall we? Imagine you’re at the grocery store and you happen to walk by the little containers of applesauce. You see two applesauce products sitting side by side one another both from the same company.

Let me introduce you to Exhibit A.

thingsthatwedo.com - exhibit A - with sugar

And here is Exhibit B.

thingsthatwedo.com - exhibit B

What have you noticed so far?

Did you notice Exhibit A identifies itself as organic? Did you notice Exhibit B is not organic but is unsweetened and has no artificial flavour or colour?

I don’t know about you but in this moment, my brain is just going in to hyperdrive with questions galore. “Does that mean the organic one does have artificial flavour and colour? But both products look similar in colour. Does the organic one have sugar then since it’s not identified as unsweetened?

Well, let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

Here are the ingredients that went into Exhibit A, the organic applesauce: organic apples, organic sugar, ascorbic acid.

thingsthatwedo.com - exhibit A

Here are the ingredients in Exhibit B, the unsweetened applesauce: apples, ascorbic acid.

thingsthatwedo.com - exhibit B

If my brain hurt below, it’s right about ready to self-induce a migraine.

So, if I’m understanding this correctly, if I the consumer choose to buy Exhibit A, the organic applesauce which is supposed to be ‘better’ because it’s organic, I get organic sugar added into my daily food intake. If I choose the ‘inferior’ (note the air quotes) unsweetened applesauce, then I only get apples and ascorbic acid.

At this point in time, a giant question mark floats over my head as I’m trying to understand why a company would waste money on adding organic sugar to the organic applesauce. From my own experience I’d say general rule of thumb: organic produce tends to be more flavourful and sweeter. So, why would the organic sugar be necessary?

I don’t know about you but I’m confused. I don’t understand but maybe I’m not supposed to understand. Maybe that’s the point. I don’t know. Maybe as a consumer, I’m just supposed to choose between Exhibit A or Exhibit B or all the other options that are sitting on the store shelves.

I just don’t know. The one thing I do know is that label reading isn’t easy.

thingsthatwedo.com pic - lizard

I don’t have an issue per se with either product. For the record, I’ve seen similar examples with other products. We’ve used both products and the child doesn’t seem to mind either one. In fact, she likes them both. They both work in all my baked recipes too. They were also equally priced (or at least they were when I last checked) so that was never a factor. I’ll be honest. Sometimes, we just grabbed the applesauce and went home assuming we’d purchased one and ended up with the other.

Lesson learned: labels often look similar and although seemingly easy to read…really aren’t!

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only and reflects the opinion of one wee small family. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

 

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