17 April, 2008

On Deceptive Labeling of Products

Today I was reminded by myself that I really need to read ALL of the nutritional information on items (particularly convenience food items I might purchase for my work dinner). I was somewhat pressed for time this afternoon as I went shopping for groceries for my lunch (and Tim's dinner), I came across a seemingly innocent and healthful food item I might procure for my work dinner.
Wrapped with a green label showing a wheelbarrow full of delicious vegetables, how could my eye not catch the Roasted Garlic Hummus Wrap with Crunchy Vegetables (both vegan and complete protein!) produced by Fundamental Foods of 463 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (emailable at: michael@fundamentalfoods.com—feel free to email them with comments on what I am about to discuss). Oh and 142 Calories? How can I not get this? This way I can have a peanutbutter toast with my dinner too. How grand!
Upon eating it, it was not as to be expected: it consisted largely of the (much too generous in my opinion) Lavosh wrap with sparse amounts of hummus, no descernable garlic or red onion, two sad carrot sticks and a stick of celery. Oh, and what's that when I am compiling my calories for the evening? 3.5 servings per wrap? You mean to say I unwittingly blew over a third of my daily allotment of calories on something this unsatisfying? Yes. This sad wrap had 497 calories (and 17.5 grams of fat, mind you this is almost all my fat for the day). It didn't even have CHEESE. This is all from the fat, way-too-big, taking up so much space that all there was were one-carrot-stick wide space for vegetables Lavosh. All from a company that touts its being run by a certified nutritional consultant.
Really. I am sick of companies misrepresenting serving sizes in this way. If the food item comes in a package that is not easily resealable. If the food item is not such as one where there are individual pieces that can be metered out (such as chips, cereal &c). If said food item comes wrapped in such a fashion as to even suggest that it is to be eaten, as is, in whole form. I want the nutritional information to reflect the information for the entire food item. Not "per 2 oz serving of which there are 3.5": no one eats a 1 oz (or HALF) serving of a wrap (a single food item). Might I add that it was 7 oz. For the 7 oz of food this wrap represents, I could have had a giant spinach salad (like the size of my big salad bowl with bell pepper, pepperocinis and olives), and for HALF of the calories, I could have had it in a reasonable amount with tomatoes and fat-free feta.
I really don't reach for convenience items very often, and I don't ever eat fast food (unless taquerias count). This just really pisses me off for what I got out of what it was; especially since it blind sided me after I'd thought I'd finished with my calories for the day to find that because of it, I went 300 calories over my daily allotment. Oh and I did write them a letter. Hopefully I will get retribution.


Derrick said...

Off topic: Where you moving to?

oonaballoona said...

i just HATE that! i started scrutinizing labels at trader joe's after bringing home my favorite flautas and finding they had partially hydrogenated soybean oil. that said, i do not shy away from their oil-free ice cream sandwiches, which weigh in at a whopping 400 calories per...