I’ve gotten to the point where any claims on the labels of food packages are an immediate red flag. With all the Orwellian “Doublespeak” surrounding our foods, I now assume that packaged foods are “guilty until proven innocent” when it comes to what’s printed on the box.
Take, for example, this salad dressing I encountered on a recent flight. I was lucky enough to use miles to upgrade to the front of the plane, which meant they gave me lunch. I chose the salmon*, which was served on on a bed of mixed greens, sprinkled with radish, jicama, and mango. It was a far cry from the wilted iceberg lettuce they would have served a few years ago. It was really quite nice, and I was grateful to have a meal.
But the dressing was disappointing. I’m glad that ingredients were listed, because they let me easily see through any marketing hype on the front. The name of the company — not just the product! — is “Naturally Fresh.” It’s even manufactured on “Naturally Fresh Boulevard!” How great! Who wouldn’t want to eat something that’s both “natural” and “fresh?”
But then I read on. I didn’t even have to read past the first ingredient:
High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Peach Puree, Soybean Oil, Sesame Oil, Vinegar, Lemon Juice From Concentrate, Food Starch-Modified, Soybeans, Wheat, Salt, Sesame Seeds, Tahini (Ground Sesame Seeds), Granulated Garlic, Caramel Color, Ground Ginger, Natural Flavor, Cayenne Pepper.
Not natural. Not fresh. Not even close.
I skipped the dressing, and my salad was perfectly lovely without it.
* I usually avoid farmed salmon, which this likely was, but I was hungry and figured it was a better choice than the likely-factory-farm chicken. Can’t win ‘em all.