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Deceptive Food Labeling

Food labeling for consumers in the mass food production industry can be very deceptive. I'm not talking about packaged grocery store items or even dietary labeling for restaurants. I'm speaking specifically about mass produced meats and other food staples. I've been watching the second installment of super size me, I definitely recommend viewing this film. Here is the trailer, I believe that you can watch it for free on YouTube as well.

The use of deceptive terminology is not unlike political spin. They capitalize on the lack of consumer knowledge regarding terms like, organic, free range or uncaged. Not only do the corporate industries at large use these terms to mislead you, they also use them as a marketing strategy to make you feel better about your buying decisions. Here are a few examples;

Many consumers assume that if a product has a non-GMO label, it must be superior to a similar product next to it without that label, but that’s not true at all.

First, just because a food product doesn’t have a non-GMO label doesn’t mean it’s “GMO.” Second, “GMOs” have been extensively tested and are just as safe and nutritious as their non-GMO counterparts. Lastly, almost everything grown today has been genetically modified at some point in time. Humans have been cross breeding plants for thousands of years as well as using a technique known as mutagenesis since the 1930s, in which radiation and chemicals are used to induce random genetic mutations.

The USDA banned added hormones in both organic and conventional poultry in the 1950s. The use of hormones in pigs is also banned. So, even though it is true, a “No Added Hormones” label on your chicken, turkey, or bacon is a bit deceptive because it’s true whether they’ve decided to add that label to the packaging or not. Hormones are allowed to be provided to beef cattle so that they grow quicker and, therefore, require less feed. A study examined the environmental footprint of beef production with and without hormone implants and found that the use of hormones reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 5 percent. The hormones that they naturally produce are at higher levels than the amount added..

There is no nutritional difference between meat from a steer that’s had a hormone implant and one that has not, because the actual difference in hormone levels is less than a billionth of a gram. rbST, a cow growth hormone that increases milk production, can be used in dairy cows in the U.S., but is rarely used. rbST has not been shown to impact human health, which is why anything labeled “milk from cows not treated with rBST” is required to also have the following statement “no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non rBST treated cows.”

I would again encourage you to check out Super size me 2, the last bit is the most interesting as it demonstrates the reality of what this post is about. And for more information about deceptive food labeling click this link,

Cheers, and have a happy hump day!

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