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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 429: We Care about Your Health

There are some companies that claim to care about our health. It's funny then when some little fact comes out that shows just how much they "care".

One of the food and clothing chain stores in South Africa, Woolworths, is big about "healthy living" and "sustainable farming" etc. They have the widest selection of free range and organic foods out of all of the chain stores.

Now I was looking at a bottle of drinking yoghurt. The label noted that it was sweetened, so I was curious as to how much this yoghurt is sweetened. There is 54 grams of sugar in a 300ml bottle. that is more sugar than there is in a can of Coca Cola. That is the equivalent of almost 13 teaspoons of sugar in just over full cup (one measured cup = 250ml) of yoghurt. That's how much sugar there is in 100 grams of a Cadbury Dairy Milk slab of chocolate. That is A LOT of sugar.

These days, everyone knows that too much sugar is a very bad thing for us - so why are companies still promoting foods as being "healthy", meanwhile these products are packed with sugar to make them taste better? This drinking yoghurt has all these pretty things on the label about probiotics and what not - but what good are probiotics when your body is trying to deal with 12.8 teaspoons of sugar at the same time?

Here is an article from the August issue of the National Geographic magazine, Sugar Love.

Did you know that even some meat has sugar in it? Did you know that yoghurt, in general, has more sugar in it (if one were to compare similar quantities) than Coke? Did you know that Ketchup (Tomato Sauce) has sugar in it? Did you know that bread has sugar in it?

People feed their kids cereals because cereal is advertised and promoted as being "healthy". Well, you know why kids like it so much? Cos it's packed with sugar to make it taste good.

Now, moving back to the point of stores and companies promoting their products as "healthy" - do you think the shops would include on their "fresh caught fish" that countless other fish were killed catching the fish you are buying, just because they get caught up in the nets? How often do you come across a company that will actually show you the apparently "free range" farms that their eggs and meat comes from? How can we possibly know if the labels are true at all?

There may be watchdog organisations, but what do we really know about them? Are they, for example, funded by the companies they are supposed to be watching? Do these food stores have buddies in the watchdog organisation that fast tracks their application for "free range" or "organic" status? Can we go on a blind trust that they really do care about our health and that they have our very best interests at heart?

What I have noticed, is that money is often more important to a person or to a company, that other people. Who can we really trust when money is involved?

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